A change in language but not in the sense, has been thoughtlessly call “area of ​​opportunity” to defects or failures.

For over two decades that a new terminology has proliferated to address any defects, errors or failures in organizations by calling area of ​​opportunity. There are several thoughtless mistakes by taking the terminology used and are discussed in this article.



The Royal Academy of Spanish Language defines opportunity as “seasoned, joint, convenience of time and place.” We clearly see two elements that are essential to the concept time and place. When one of these two elements is not present then you can not qualify as opportunity.

Being in the right place at the wrong time but not a chance. Meet at the entrance to a concert by your favorite artist, but after it ran out of tickets no is an opportunity. Enter a website business opportunities minutes after withdrawing an excellent deal for your company no is an opportunity. Nor is being on time, but in the wrong place. Be on time for an appointment at a branch restaurant but confused no is opportunity. Find a job position in the company that does not fit with your career no is an opportunity.

Opportunity is the situation in which, along with personal intentions (or business) are given plausible solutions. It presents one more element: own intentions. That is, there is something for personal or business decision to follow a path of achieving one or more objectives. The opportunities are given only to those who are prepared to assume. “Only one eye preparation can see the obvious,” says Ribero Lair.

The faults, defects, errors

A mistake, failure, defect, once it is introduced and is visible need to see it as it is a given and accomplished.Given the facts honorable and ethical response begins by assuming as presented. If they are negative events (errors, faults, defects) it assumes the consequences and remedies are sought. If you are positive (achievement, success) assumes they are and also contemplated the consequences of these consequences that regularly open new windows of opportunity are the path to excellence.

Let’s clear this. What is accomplished can not be changed. What you can find a positive way to face the consequences. Not doing so is irresponsible in the case of serious adverse events, and some fool in the case of positive developments.

A proper definition of “area of ​​opportunity”

Opportunities tend to be a blip, one side only, not very broad strip or say. However, it adds a geometric concept: area. They have been called to certain situations “opportunity area” as to mean a large area in which there are multiple solutions. You will narrow below to find your best way to apply.Have already been outlined three essential elements of what a situation where an opportunity presents itself, ie the coincidence of: its own objectives, time and place. The lack of one can not qualify the situation as an opportunity.

Faced with a situation in which the company failed to reach target can not call the gap between reality and the objective achieved originally proposed an “area of ​​opportunity. A future (and therefore in this decision) is where you can find windows of opportunity. Certainly all those opportunities to learn become opportunities. You can do an analysis of the causes of low productivity, we can better understand how to shape more realistic, You can set actions to overcome the negative effects of the act, and so on. But no You can change the past, there is no chance at it.

When the result of a process is a batch of defective products is not possible to qualify by saying is an area of ​​opportunity to this cluster of defects. Where the opportunity is in the future, finding the windows that open to the situation: the correction, learning about the causes of the defect, the reclassification of the lot, and so on.

Although the language used

In conclusion, it is important to call things by their name. Not refine avoid words that sound “harsh”. It is the attitude they communicate with and accept the facts that affect organizational dynamics. If the defect at the same time disqualifies the accused and who committed the result is detrimental to the organizational climate. And this can occur even with the nuance of saying ,hey you have an area of ​​opportunity can cost you the job, the boss wants to talk to you.

The appropriate approach is to use the words in the right place “he nonconformity and we to seek now what chance (opportunity areas) are open to attend and learn from it. Good use of language enriches the living and creates a superior organizational climate.