This is an extended metaphor about fruit. You have been warned.
Managers love low hanging fruit.
Improvements that are the easiest and quickest to carry out, surely only an idiot wouldn’t go for them.
Well that must mean I’m an idiot.
Yesterday I went blackberry picking and learnt that the WORST fruit to go for are the low hanging sort. Here’s why…
1: Low hanging fruit won’t be there.
You go to the blackberry bush, and there’s no blackberries. Why? Because somebody has beaten you to it. They’re always somebody who beats you to it, these things don’t hang around. forever. It might have been YOU who beat you to it, the very first time you went for the low hanging fruit. You can only go once and then there aren’t any.
Lesson: most of the time you want to improve something, the easy stuff will already have been done. It’s always the hard stuff that’s left over.
2: The juiciest best fruit is the hardest to reach.
See those berries, right the back. Just to the left of the leaf. No, not THAT leaf. The other one. See how juicy they are? Is because they’re not the easy low hanging sort, these are plump ripe and ready to pluck and nobody has because they’re hard to get to. A bit of effort is required.
Lesson:The easy small stuff will be gone, so that only leaves the hard GOOD STUFF. Not only that but…
3: It hurts at first, then it doesn’t
The berries at the back are surrounded by thorns and nettles. You’ll get stung, and at first it’ll hurt but eventually you’ll get used to it as the price you pay and you won’t notice the stings only the berries.
Lesson: The first time you start to do the hard things it’ll hurt, too hard! You’ll cry. After that it becomes normal.
4: One you start you can’t stop
Pick one berry, there’s another one right next to it. Why stop when there’s always another one within finger reach.
Lesson: Improvement is continuous because otherwise it’s not. There’s no such thing as complacent improvement. Once all the low hanging stuff had gone and you’re into the hard stuff that’s you started, so don’t stop.
5: You pick a thousand berries one berry at a time.