That low hanging fruit might be toxic!

In my last employment, we were subjected to a heavy top down change programme. Part of the mantra was to “go for the low hanging fruit” – that is get some quick wins under your belt. Whilst this can be useful in getting some momentum going, it can also lead you to putting effort into what is easy rather than what is really needed.

That low hanging fruit can be toxic because it diverts attention and others may see it simply as a ploy. You ought to be focusing your effort on the real needs and demonstrating a willingness to make real change work.

An example!

My local council has upgraded two sections of footpath near one of the busiest junctions in the town in the last year or so. Both sections were perfectly adequate but perhaps slightly narrow and were upgraded as parts of other schemes. However, there is another section not 50m from the first upgrade where there is no footpath at all on a blind bend. This means that pedestrians have to either step into the roadway or cross the  main road twice in a dangerous location.

So money has been spent upgrading the path where it could have been left unchanged and none spent where it could have made a real difference to safety and peace of mind.

Do you ever do this with your change processes?

Are you focusing on the real need or doing what is easy?

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