No one says "no" or can find a reason not to do X.
Someone then draws up schedules committing everyone else to do X.
Most people ignore it and trust it will go away.
Aside from a single individual, there was never a commitment to do X. X died on the vine due to lack of initial commitment, not shrinking commitment.
That could happen if X was the champion's idea to begin with and she was just dragging others along [alaStupidCollaborationKickoffMeeting ?], but there are lots of alternate explanations which all lead to the same behavior.
Alternate view #2: People say "Yes! This is a great idea! We should do this!" but what they really mean is "It would be great if we could get this for free so we are going to feign enthusiasm for the project in hopes that all the work will be done by others and we will be able to exploit the end product," a strategy that fails if everybody is thinking the same thing.
Alternate view #3: "It would be politically incorrect to be seen saying no to this idea, so we will support it now and make sure that it dies later when nobody is watching."
Alternate view #4: The people who came to the meeting were going to do it but their bosses pulled the plug. (How high up do you have to go before a commitment is a commitment?)
Alternate view #5: Herd behavior. After the first one bailed, the rest instinctively scattered.
Alternate view #6: All of the above. Everybody's reasons for bailing are different, but the bottom line is everybody bails. Critical mass just disappears all of a sudden.
Applying the 80/20 rule, 80% of the image maintenance payoff PC benefit comes with 20% of the effort, and yet the actual dividend from completion never comes except after the HeavyLifting?, on the other side of the "80% effort" hump. "Fast-in fast-out" should result in unambiguous consequences with an eye to operant conditioning; I'd suggest the use of a flame-thrower. --BenTremblay
This is an instance of the PublicGoodsDilemma.
See also: StupidCollaborationKickoffMeetingCategoryCollaboration