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7 Steps to Achieving Your Highest and Best Use
 

Experts in innovation agree that the most innovative ideas -- those most likely to be game-changing -- come from outside your industry or vocation. At a recent CEBI Summit, member Chuck Smith applied that principle to business ownership and leadership. Chuck invoked the core principle of real estate appraisal, the highest and best use (HBU) of a real property.  A Wikipedia article cites The Appraisal Institute of Canada:
Highest and Best Use: The reasonably probable and legal use of property, that is physically possible, appropriately supported, and financially feasible, and that results in the highest value.
So, let's restate that idea to describe the highest and best use of a business owner's or CEO's time. That might sound something like:
Highest and Best Use: The reasonably probable and legal use of the owner's or CEO's talent, that is physically possible, appropriately supported, and financially feasible, and that results in the highest value for the enterprise.
How might you determine that? Here's an interesting exercise that may be helpful in finding your highest and best use(s).
  1. Take out a blank sheet of paper
     
  2. Draw a horizontal line across the center of the page
     
  3. Above the line, write "More of", and list those things that you should be or wish you were doing "More of" for the benefit of your business.
     
  4. Below the line, write "Less of", and list things that you're doing now that you should be or wish you were doing "Less of". These are things that you may be doing for several reasons:
    • There's no one else who can do them
    • There's no one else to do them
    • You're the best qualified to do them
    • You like doing them (despite the fact they may not be HBUs)
       
  5. The "More of's" are your HBUs. Pick the one most likely to benefit your business, and write 2-3 sentences on how you'd accomplish that strategy
     
  6. Beside each of the "Less of's" write in ideas for how you could off-load those things. The idea is to free up time you're now spending on "Less of's" so you'll have more time to focus on the HBUs above the line. Pick one of those things and write 2-3 sentences on how you'd get that task offloaded to someone else (or perhaps just stop doing it).
     
  7. Put the list in a followup file for 2-4 weeks from now, then revisit steps 5 and 6
We test-drove this exercise in several recent CEBI Local Board meetings and several members discovered a lot of clarity in their HBUs as a result. In one case, a member said he knew he was not operating at his HBU, but just didn't have a way to identify what he needed to be doing and what he could stop doing to free up the necessary time to accomplish his HBU.

Thanks,

Terry Weaver
CEO
Chief Executive Boards International
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