Are your processes and systems ready?

Are your employees ready?

Are your family members ready?

Are you SuccessionReady?

What we do

You started your business with passion, purpose, and planning — let’s keep that going. 

SuccessionReady is a simple, effective, and real-world approach specifically designed for founder-led businesses to develop a roadmap for the future.  

We help you to create a tailored Succession Plan for your business – collaborating with you, your employees, your other professional service providers, and your family. We guide or train you through the process of creating a Succession Plan that aligns with your values, achieves your goals, and ensures you and your team are prepared for the next steps.

From our work together, you will gain clarity about the future, create an aligned team and family, bring in your other professional advisors such as your accountant, banker, lawyer, financial planner, and broker – to develop a Succession Plan that you can implement with confidence.  

This actionable Succession Plan will take into account the processes, people, leadership, and sustainability considerations that need to be in place to ensure your business — and your legacy – endures.  

Consulting + Coaching Stream

Bespoke and tailored to you, the founder, your unique business, and the team surrounding you, our Consulting + Coaching stream combines the best of management consulting, executive coaching, and real-world business experience. We guide you through the process of creating a tailored Succession Plan that aligns with your values, achieves your goals, and ensures you and your team are prepared for the next steps.

Training Stream

Customized to your needs and involving two to five of your team members, our Training Stream supports you in creating your tailored Succession Plan. We provide training on the process of developing your plan, fostering alignment within your team, engaging professional advisors, and enabling you to implement your Succession Plan with confidence.

James Grieve

James Grieve, Principal of Catalyst Strategies, is the co-creator of SuccessionReady. He has a passion for helping founder-lead and emerging businesses build, thrive, and grow. For over 20 years, he has worked closely with business owners to design and develop strategies and systems that create value and make a positive and sustainable difference in the lives of business owners, their employees, and their customers.

James is a Certified Management Consultant (Canadian Association of Management Consultants) with a can-do approach to business, and brings a creative and customer-first approach to working with clients. He is also a Certified Exit Planning Advisor (Exit Planning Institute), Certified Customer Experience Professional (Customer Experience Professionals Association), Certified Sales Professional (Canadian Professional Sales Association), and a Professional Farm Advisor (Canadian Association of Farm Advisors). He holds an ISO 20700:2017 certification for management consultancy services. He has a BCom in Entrepreneurial Management, an MBA, a Graduate Certificate in Organization Design and Development from Royal Roads University, and a Graduate Certificate in Sustainability and Circular Economy from Cambridge University.

Ashka Wirk

Ashka Wirk, Principal of Wirk Consulting, is the co-creator of SuccessionReady. She grew up working in her family’s business, is a seasoned private sector CEO, and has helped leaders, teams, and organizations of all types to set their North Star, engage their key stakeholders, and map a clear path forward for nearly 20 years. 

Ashka brings a unique blend of consulting, coaching, and facilitation expertise. She is a Certified Management Consultant (Canadian Association of Management Consultants), experienced facilitator, and Certified Executive Coach (International Coaching Federation). She has a BSc in biology from UBC and an MBA from the Schulich School of Business at York University.

Check out the SuccessionReady podcast

The aim of the SuccessionReady podcast is to bring you expert guests who will provide you with information, insights, and actionable advice relevant to you as a founder-led business to help you become SuccessionReady.

Season 1

Episode 1. What is SuccessionReady?

In this episode, James Grieve and Ashka Wirk, co-founders of SuccessionReady, introduce you to succession planning and why it’s important, walk you through the SuccessionReady approach, and provide some guidance on next steps.

Episode 2. SuccessionReady – The Client Experience

In this episode, co-hosts James Grieve and Ashka Wirk are joined by Halee Fried. Halee is the founder of a family-owned business, Farmstrong Cider Company, located in Armstrong, British Columbia, Canada. Halee and her family were early adopter clients of the SuccessionReady approach to succession planning. Halee shares her experience with founding and growing Farmstrong, her succession planning experience with SuccessionReady, and her advice to other founders thinking about succession planning for their businesses.

Episode 3. Succession Planning – The Marketing Angle

In this episode, co-creators of SuccessionReady – James Grieve and Ashka Wirk — are joined by Rob Cupello, VP of Business Development of NowMedia Group. Rob brings two decades of strategic planning and marketing for crown corporations, the tourism industry and a broad variety of small and medium sized businesses. His passion is to help brands build their business and always look outside the traditional approach to ensure every marketing dollar spent sees a return on investment. Rob shares his insights about the top things founders need to think through from a marketing and brand strategy perspective as they consider succession planning for their business.

Episode 4. Have You Thought about a Co-operative?

In this episode, James Grieve and Ashka Wirk speak to Heather Hallgrimson. Heather is the former Director of Entrepreneurship for Co-operatives First, a non-profit organization that provides co-op start-up resources, such as feasibility studies, business plans, online courses, and incorporation support to rural and Indigenous entrepreneurs across western Canada. Their goal is to help leaders in these communities build new businesses, grow local economies, and support community development. Heather tells us about what a co-operative is – the benefits and the drawbacks, provides examples of founder-led businesses that have successfully transitioned their business to a co-operative model, and gives her advice to founders curious about co-operatives as a path to succession.

Season 2

Episode 1. What Can You Expect from Working with SuccessionReady?

James Grieve and Ashka Wirk, co-founders of SuccessionReady, talk through what you, as a founder-led business, can expect from working with SuccessionReady.

Episode 2. Are You Thinking of Selling Your Business?

Steve Harvey, a Commercial Realtor, Certified Business Broker, and founder and President of Business Finders Canada engages in a discussion about what founder-led businesses need to consider as you prepare your business for sale.

Episode 3. How Your Local Economic Development Organization Can Help You as a Founder-Led Business

Kate Watson, the Marketing and Business Support Coordinator for the Salmon Arm Economic Development Society, talks about how organizations like hers help founder-led businesses through the full life cycle of a business – from start up, to scaling, to succession.

Episode 4. Process Mapping, Design, and Redesign – Why Is It Important and How Do You Do It?

Michael Rosen, a process improvement practitioner, shares his experience about the importance of analyzing, mapping, and improving processes by eliminating waste, automating process steps, and performing system enhancements – to help your founder-led business today and set it up for succession planning into the future.

Season 3

Episode 1. What is SuccessionReady?

In this episode, James Grieve and Ashka Wirk, co-founders of SuccessionReady, introduce you to succession planning and why it’s important, walk you through the SuccessionReady approach, and provide guidance on the next steps.

Episode 2. Digital Transformation Considerations for Founder-Led Businesses

Jean-Eric Plamondon, Principal of Winnipeg-based Growth Strategy Consulting, provides his insights about how business owners can build sustainable processes and systems to increase the predictability of their business while simplifying the need to be involved in the day to day tasks – using technology as a tool.

Episode 3. The Ins and Outs of Insurance

Austin Dunn, an Account Executive with Wilson M. Beck Insurance Services, provides advice to founder-led businesses about recognizing and managing the risks that may impact their businesses – today and as they prepare for succeeding their businesses in the future.

Episode 4. Have You Considered an Employee Share Ownership Plan?

Our guest for this episode is Martin Bell, the CEO of Urban Systems. Martin talks to us about his company’s unique employee ownership model – to spark insights for you as a founder-led business considering succession options.

Find all of our episodes here

Get in touch

We would love to hear from you to see if we can help you with your Succession Plan!

Is your business SuccessionReady?

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