The Domino Chain Effect at work

picture of dominos in the background and the title how to use the domino chain effect at work, harvest massive results

Browsing around the internet I came across a joke that I didn’t fully appreciated until somehow in my mind it connected with the concept of the Domino Chain Effect.

What was this joke?? There is a ship at sea with a broken engine. The ship doesn’t move. All the maintenance staff has worked on trying to solve the issue without success. So the captain decides to bring in a world renown expert. They fly him to the ship by helicopter. He spends a moment looking at the engine and suddenly takes out a hammer from his satchel and hit a lever. The engine starts again, everybody is cheering. A week later the expert sends his invoice that says: “Fixing the engine : 50 000 $”. The captain is surprised and ask for a detailed invoice. The detailed invoice arrived :

-hitting the lever with the hammer : 500 $

-knowing which lever to hit : 49 500 $

There are some things to do at work that will unlock some situations with some little effort, just like knowing where to hammer. It will be efforts that will take more than 5 seconds. And you will maybe feel that you are spending a lot of time… but in the long run it’s time well invested that will pay back and you will get outstanding results.


How to use the Domino Chain Effect at work ?
i.e. Where can you focus your tiny bit of energy to harvest massive results at work ?

I usually think on how getting my domino chain effect in the moment when facing a particular situation. But there are some principles that are universal such as :

Delegate smartly by communicating clear expectations. Don’t assume. Your staff will invest their time and competence so make sure they are on the right path.

-Get your information straight from the horse’s mouth. Avoid middle men who may alter the information and go speak to the source of it.

Bring the right people around the table. Having meetings with people who are not entitled to make decisions may lead to bad surprises when you need an approval, like budget issues or different visions. Make sure you involve the right people from the beginning of your project.

Train your staff correctly. If they don’t know how to do, they will never make it right. If they know how to do, they can make wonders.

Make a phone call instead of a long complicated email. You’ll be able to give live clarifications and ensure your message is well understood.

Set an objective to your meetings. I developed this topic in a previous post, see here.

What are your tips to generate a domino chain effect at work ?

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