AMI Episode 5 – Succession Planning: Starting the Conversation

When it comes to succession planning, one of the most difficult things to do may be just getting the conversation started. No other topic can get defences up, arouse suspicions or cause divisions like the topic of succession if it’s not handled correctly.  Having a pure business discussion with your parents or kids easily crosses the family lines which is a vey sensitive area.  Open and honest communication is required throughout the process in a number of areas in order to make sure things go as they should. It’s a process that needs to be carefully mapped out with all parties involved being clear and united on the end goal. It’s also a process that involves the use of outside resources to make the transition happen.

In this episode of the AMI Farm Business E-Team series, Richard Cressman of Richard Cressman Consulting talks about his own succession experience, what he learned and what to consider to make the process as fluid and successful as possible.

If you cannot see the embedded video below click here.


Shaun Haney

Shaun grew up on a family seed farm in Southern Alberta. Haney Farms produces, conditions and retails wheat, barley, canola and corn seed. Shaun Haney is the founder of @shaunhaney


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when we started to work on succession on our farm it was was not an easy discussion. My parents flipped out and said that I was being greedy. It wasn’t until the third time I brought it up that we had a more calm discussion about the business and not the family.


Joey, the problem is that this is not an easy conversation for either parents or children to start. I know when I had the discussion with my two boys it would of been easier to have the discussion with an employee. It takes real commitment from both sides to make sure things stay focused and on an even keel.

shaun haney

do either of you have any advice on how to start the conversation that is different than the video


Interestingly enough, succession is the next topic that the eTeam Videos will be covering but in a bit more depth. If you’re interested in adding your experience (anonymously or otherwise) to the series, please let me know! [email protected]


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