If you are the acquiring company:
- Be aware that the people you deal with in the acquired organization are under immense stress. Give them a break!
- Have a plan. Better yet, have a team dedicated to helping everyone (on both sides) through the transition.
- Communicate early and often. Make sure everyone who is doing that communicating has the same message. Confusion is your enemy.
- Don't blow smoke...if there's bad news, share it. No matter what, don't make promises that can't be kept.
- You've been acquired - accept that change is going to happen. Some of that change is likely to be unpalatable.
- Frankly, get over yourself! There are going to be new processes that are different from what you are used to. Many things will be different!
- If you don't want to have everything dictated to you, have a plan! It is often the case that the purchasing company will be happy to work with you to meet in the middle.
- Communicate early and often, both internally an with the acquisition team. Again, confusion will lead to failure.
I'm happy to report that the acquisition I'm in the middle of is going fairly smoothly. The acquiring company has got it together, and is acting like they've actually read the first section above. (Hooray!)