I recently had a very interesting coaching session with a young man who has taken on a new role with a growing organization. He is new to the organization, and the role is new as well.
This is an exciting spot to be in, but it is challenging as well. I once worked for someone who used to say, “There is nothing more challenging than putting a brand new person in a brand new role.” It is challenging because it is difficult to tell whether issues that arise are related to the design of the role or the skills of the person. As any scientist will tell you, a well-constructed experiment only has one variable at a time.
So, he is in a challenging situation. He was telling me about his ideas for initiatives to be undertaken, and he has great ideas! But they are very grand. And all the bright and shiny opportunities are making it difficult to prioritize.
I asked him if he was familiar with the term, “Low Hanging Fruit.” “No,” he replied.
So I explained that an apple tree has fruit all over it, but we don’t have a ladder. We can either build a ladder now, which will take time, or we can pick the Low Hanging Fruit first. We can reach it now, and it is ripe. We’re hungry now, I said. “Yes!” he said, “Hungry and thirsty!”
“Then start with the Low Hanging Fruit,” I suggested. “What are the projects you can start with first and get some momentum, while building a ladder to get to the top of the tree?” And we began talking about the projects he can undertake immediately.
It occurs to me this morning that the same is true for developing products.
I am in a “mastermind” or “success team” group that meets, virtually, every week. Our mission is to support and hold each other accountable while we are building our businesses. As part of that, each of us is working on a Product of some kind. We are having some interesting conversations and some exciting breakthroughs!
And we face some interesting challenges, some of which are of our own making.
I wonder, to what extent are we – am I – forgetting to pick the Low Hanging Fruit, overlooking it because it is almost too easy?
My late husband used to look at me sometimes and say, “I hate it when you’re right.”
This time I have to say, “Gah, I hate it when I’m right.”
What is the Low Hanging Fruit you are overlooking?