The 5 Critical Succession Conversations

How do you talk about succession? In our work, we’ve found that the family businesses who fail in transition do so because they’ve never mastered the art of communication. In this book, we help owners and successors work through the most challenging conversations surrounding succession. In the end, clear communication becomes the foundation of a smooth transition.


  • “Most failed transitions are a result of a breakdown in communication within the family or inadequately prepared heirs.”
  • “The decision to accept or steer away from accepting a leadership role in the family business should never be assumed, go unvoiced… the successor must understand and gracefully deal with the effects of their choice.”
  • “The first step in a succession should be to open a dialogue between the current owner and the intended successor. The seeds of succession are sown in this conversation where the owner leader invites a potential successor to gauge interest, passion, and aptitude.”