Noticed something today and I'm not sure what to think about it. Most of the times I've used it accidentally, but it could be a tactic...
People are essentially lazy. That's not a bad thing, it's true for almost all animals. If they aren't hungry or horny they conserve energy.
People also have this incredible and sometimes pathological fear of being left out. A kid will go to a movie he knows is crappy if all of his friends are going.
The first time I noticed was with "Meditations on Violence." The publisher was hesitant, since they hadn't published anything quite like it. They were going on four months without a solid answer about whether they wanted to publish it. Four months is a long time in my environment, especially since I had just moved into investigations. The learning curve was pretty steep. Going over the draft I thought of a ton of stuff I wanted to add or expand.
So I sent a polite note saying I was withdrawing the manuscript from consideration since I didn't feel it was current. Got a phone call and an offer immediately.
Working in a dedicated team is good. Trying to get work done in a committee sucks. My usual reaction was to just finish the project, sign everyone's name to it and present it. But I noticed something. If you announce that it is finished and you are ready to present it, everyone immediately jumps into action to get a hand in on what should already be a finished work. Suddenly all the people who couldn't be bothered to do their assigned tasks are trying to do them and redo and undo other people's assignments.
Curious. Sometimes it bugs, as now when I have to redo an entire project because a resource was withheld until I finished without said resource.
But I think it is something I could definitely use to force action from a generally inert thing like a committee.