Low Hanging Fruit
Updated: Nov 26, 2019
Are you a picker or a climber?
‘Low hanging fruit’ is a term I hear often but not one I ever use, in business it refers to the easy stuff, a quick win.
Its human nature to be seduced by the temptation of achieving something for relatively low effort. There are occasions where this will happen, and you will get that lovely feeling where you tick something off your list in the time it took to make a coffee. But how often does this really happen? In the main, the difference it makes can be minimal and the accumulation of time significant. I have considered that the practice of gathering the low hanging fruit is false economy and a bit of a myth.
It’s a hearts and minds battle that you face when you present the issues and a solution, stakeholders will want to report on benefits quickly and often. This is where the seduction of the quick win begins, the presenter will want to please and the stakeholder will want to receive, maintaining a focus on the big win can be difficult and requires a sound business case. When you lose focus on the bigger picture by the distraction of the quick wins you risk providing a piecemeal solution with far less benefit then the wider overarching solution could have provided.
I would argue that no business wants to hear the term ‘low hanging fruit’ this is the stuff that should just be done, not done, or just doesn’t matter in the grander scheme of things. It will not lead to growth, innovation, or drive transformational change, to do this you have to look beyond the lower level.
The simple fact is that it is easy to do something easy, there will always be fruit to pick, you have to decide if you're picking the best of the crop or settling for the windfall. Climbing the tree takes time, energy, and requires a strategy. Are you a picker or a climber?