Merck, Six Sigma and 360-degree problem-solving

"I think it is a tool," says Ellen Lambert, EVP at the Merck Company Foundation, of Six Sigma. "And it's a good tool, but it's not the only tool." Lambert is a green belt going black this summer. "Six Sigma definitely helps you get your arms around the objective side of the issue. But sometimes you have to allow the subjective in." She says Merck is staying a research company and "clearly going against the tide for pharmaceuticals" because it understands that there are 360 degrees to an issue and looks for "that critical place where the problems aren't being solved because the majority of people are thinking about the issue too narrowly." Interview