@concordski: Also in my business, the phrase is used quite often and really what the majority does to achieve 'quick wins'. That being said, the 'low hanging fruit' is only perceived at a fiscal year basis, up to 12 months and highly based on an individuals performance review. So really, how can they show high impact in a short amount of time?
I find often the low hanging fruit only 'reports' impact but does not actually make a longer term benefit to the initiative and strategy. It's the company culture that drives this but most often the win is only perceived, is a short term solution that does not last and does not contribute to the longer term strategy.
I believe having the broader plan in place and taking time with that will enable the right selection of easy priorities areas to focus, vs picking the unripened apple from the bottom of the tree and hoping it will eventually ripen after I have picked it.