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Deconstruct the Job

Which Job Tasks Are Best Suited to Automation?

Here’s a brainteaser: You are given a candle, a box of tacks, and a book of matches. How do you attach the candle to a wall so that you can light it without dripping wax onto the floor below?

The solution to Duncker’s candle problem is to deconstruct the box of tacks into its parts (box, tacks).1 Then you’ll see that the tacks can attach one side of the box to the wall and attach the candle to the bottom of the box. In experiments, people who receive the box with the tacks inside solve the problem far less often than those given the box with a separate pile of tacks next to it.

What does this have to do with work automation? Work is constructed into job descriptions similar ...

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