Just off a call with a client who is coordinating a new sub-practice group. She told me how un-eventful their first meeting was and that no one had yet volunteered to take various roles on. My first bit of advice to her was to look for people to take on tasks based on ability and desire rather than seniority. If others push back, be more than open to receiving input and help from them, but be sure to set hard deadlines.
The other advice was to do some one-to-one advocating ahead of the next meeting to get her ‘soldiers’ in place, other people willing to take on leadership or accountability for some of the tasks at hand. This will give the perception of movement and others will eventually follow. When people start attending meetings that actually get things done, they will want to be a part of that movement.