One of the characteristics of totalitarian regimes is the requirement that their citizens be immersed in all sorts of activities. They have government-run groups for children, workers, men, women, farmers, athletes, various professions...the list is almost endless. The idea is to keep people busy on projects the regime favors so they don't have time for other thoughts, such as replacing the regime. Activity without real authority could be the motto.
I was reminded of this while examining the behavior of one organization. Everyone was extremely busy with a wide collection of activities and yet the key levers of power were untouched by the very people who should have controlled them. They'd been so distracted by their busy schedules that they had not noticed. As a result, the power had gone by default to a group that, although well-intentioned, really should not have had it. The distracted group had experienced years of frustration with poorly executed projects; projects hobbled by a power deficit it should not have had.
One of several lessons: Don't let activities cause you to overlook the real power sources.