Committees, the most effective way to do nothing
To take a decision is to choose between various options. However there is another rarely understood approach, that is to 'not take a decision'.
Bureaucrats and government officials, politicians often procrastinate, they employ a fairly common approach to avoid taking a decision or to delay matters temporarily or even indefinitely is to form a committee.
Committees are based on the foolish notion that a group is better than an individual and that the majority knows best. A group of people unlettered, uninformed or disinterested on a matter, irrespective of how many they may be in numbers, cannot and will not likely be able to take a good decision on a matter and give effect to it.
You may ask, 'If committees are so ineffective then why are they so popular?'
Committees have their uses.
Most individuals particularly in leadership positions have fragile egos. They do not want to appear as not doing anything about a matter, so they refer the matter to a committee. By doing this they send the matter into a loop, usually a very long loop. They can then justify their inaction.
For people who want to target or trouble some entity they hide behind a group of people called a committee.
'Cover your Back side' approach. A committee is an excellent mechanism for escaping responsibility and accountability. If by chance the committee does arrive at a decision and the actions go wrong, the leaders can always pin the blame on the committee and members.
Committees are very useful for delaying matters or for turning down a proposal. An individual no matter how powerful is to an extent answerable. A refusal or a delay opens up people to accountability, questioning and even litigation, the preferred option is to just refer it to a committee.
The tail wags the dog syndrome. Herein an individual manipulates the busy, disinterested members of the committee to get the outcome they want, but make it seem like a universally accepted decision.
This is why one should be wary of Committees.
Committees however are not always a problem, they can be also be useful, powerful and effective. How to get committees to be useful effective, will be covered in the follow up article.
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