So the deal closes.  It’s “Day 1.”  Are you ready for one of management’s big moments?

First impressions tend to be lasting impressions, and this highlights the importance of opening moves.  Your initial actions make a defining statement about the forthcoming integration process and management intent.  Up until this point, people will have been carefully listening to what management has said about the deal, but they believe what they see.  Talk is cheap…the reality lies in what actually begins to happen before people’s eyes.

So how can you seize the moment and use this pivotal opportunity for maximum effect? Follow these seven guidelines and your opening moves will serve as a launch pad for successful integration. 

1. To begin with, your opening moves should be born out of strategic calculation—careful deliberation—with deep respect for the broad impact of these first steps.  Don’t move on impulse or opt  for easy actions that. . .