Want to Build a Team? Try Building a House

TRICIA DEERING / HABITAT FOR HUMANITY

TEAMING UP: Designers from Ikea and Whirlpool get to work

Along a rundown track on the outskirts of Cluj-Napoca, a small city in rural Transylvania, a construction site teems with laborers sawing wood, hammering nails and measuring angles. The tools are basic and the building plans simple, but the workers[an error occurred while processing this directive] are not what you might expect; it's a band of executives hailing from corporate heavies Whirlpool and Ikea, who've traveled to Romania from Italy and Sweden.

The well-heeled workforce comes courtesy of Habitat for Humanity, a 30-year-old American-based charity that recruits volunteers to address the problem of poor housing in close to 100 countries. Initially, Habitat...

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