The typical “official” starting point is to have a workshop with management to define the integration:
– how to approach it (quick/fast, light/full integration, integration of equals or not, etc.)
– other guidelines
– how is integration success defined
How do you think about having informal 1on1 with key stakeholders before the official kickoff/workshop?
My view is, have as many 1-on-1 conversations as possible during this time!
If you are exposing some staff (Managers?) to the acquisition, successful companies describe some of anticipated challenges that managerment might fact in order to come with a name.
Light information, to help the acquiring / acquired orgs understand each other, should be the focus of this planning.
If this is done with Managers in the right way, it can secure their support and buy-in for the merger during the acquisition process, which is time when many organisations need their Management to be fully supportive.