Six Sigma did not save Nortel

Today (Jan 14, 2009) Nortel Networks, one of the biggest telecom equipment makers, filed for bankruptcy protection [1]. It was trying to stay afloat by pursuing various initiatives. Six Sigma was one of them. A number of good for nothing but well connected engineers managed to avoid layoffs of the recent years by moving to the safe haven of Six Sigma. They were trained as master black belts. Today they all looked like black ribbons on Nortel's coffin.

Outsourcing was Nortel's another strategy. Now rumors circulate that it will be sold off in pieces to the foreign competitors [2], which sprang up due to outsourcing. As Sir Winston Churchill noticed, "one who feeds the crocodile hopes that he will be eaten last." Unfortunately, he often turns out to be first.