Low Hanging Fruit

7 years ago

Why do managers request to pick low hanging fruit first? Isn’t it strange to use a metaphor of growing fruit,  which is all about leaving low hanging fruit for the last pick?

What could be the reason behind this request concerning change initiatives? A correctly developed strategy for change is all about about how to realise the vision, it is really strange to request short term results. What do they proof? Do they provide any solid input for decision making or correction?

With a tangible and instructive vision any organisation should know were it wants to be in 3 to 5 years. So short term results are not proofing anything else then making mistakes is part of the learning process.

Going back to the metaphor, there is a danger in picking low hanging fruit first. It is a bad idea, potentially the worst fruit, closest by the ground, so maybe eaten by animals and with lowest amount of sunlight. It doesn’t tell anything about the sweetness of the harvest or the quality of the fruit tree, it is not an indicator to cut down the tree.

Real leadership bases their decisions on the link between the vision and strategy before starting any change implementation. Focus and validation of results is based on this link and not on short term output. Reacting on short term output could be valuable during prototyping but never on executing strategy. It will make you toss on the wind and does not keep you on track.