Reverse dominoes

In their iconic personal development book The One Thing, Gary Keller and Jay Papasan write about the domino effect.

It’s a beautiful framework for achieving bigger and better results. From the website:

On its own, a domino isn’t much. It’s about two inches tall and weighs about as much as a small box of matches. But with the domino comes a force. In fact, one domino has the capability of knocking down another one that is 1.5x its size. This seemingly infinitesimal ability compounds to produce incredible outcomes.

When it comes to problem-solving, it can work in reverse.

Playing reverse dominoes with problems helps identify the root cause by allowing us to pick out one domino at a time, figuring out what caused it to fall, and then repeating the process with care and thought.

When we know the root cause, we can make more informed choices to solve the problem.

Reverse dominoes are not without some pain and struggle and emotional labour, in two ways: both in determining the root cause, and in deciding what to do about it.

Is the root cause a problem that can be solved?

Only you can decide that, but knowing what it is helps.

Sticking plasters only go so far.