Can Team Building Help Congress Learn to "Play Nice?"

In December 2008, at the height of the economic crisis, Prime Minister Stephen Harper prorogued parliament. The Canadian House of Commons was facing significant challenges as the political parties were not working together. A radio reporter interviewed me. Reflecting on recent events, it occurred to me that her question is just as relevant to Congress.

Team building can help highly functioning teams become more proactive and dysfunctional teams improve their effectiveness. Congress has been showing the signs of a dysfunctional team. For example, the various political parties and factions are displaying the silo mentality, similar to what we happens in many corporations. Positions are entrenched and it is difficult to compromise and find a middle ground. Team building can definitely break down silos and improve cross-functional team work.

Team building can't work miracles. However, if the parties are willing to put self interests aside and work together for the greater good, team building could help Congress function as a more cohesive unit.

If I were designing a team building retreat for Congress, to produce optimal results, I would also involve some business leaders, bank presidents and economists. There is a need to work together, to generate effective strategies for job creation and to fuel economic growth.

In YOUR experience, what methods would help Congress work more effectively?

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