not altogether different from their own. In no time, these two individuals found themselves reminiscing, laughing about their shared past, and playing "Did you know...?" They suddenly realized that, for all their differences, they also had things in common.
The discovery of things in common didn't dissolve all the problems among these four groups, but it was a stepping stone. By the end of the session, the four groups had learned a lot about each other and had identified some of their biggest obstacles in working together. And, at their own request, they had developed a list of steps they wanted to take to learn more about each other's work and to help each other.
This type of relationship strengthening is not at all unusual when you're getting to know each other better.