Products are really where most companies start their “innovation” initiatives. However, more companies are starting to shift their innovation efforts around Service delivery to achieve a necessary balance with Product innovation.
Process innovation is really the internalized service delivery within an organization. Everything a company does internally between all the functional areas and the business units is all geared towards service delivery (although not everyone sees it that way). Once companies apply the “service mindset” towards process delivery, they will quickly realize that they can’t achieve real innovation with their (external) services until they start focusing on their processes (internal services).
Think of customer services as the capstone that sits on top of all the processes (internal services and systems that are used to support external service delivery). Most companies have been working on process improvement from a lean perspective by applying Six Sigma techniques.
Part of what companies struggle with today is overcoming some of the inherent management practices and organizational barriers. That’s probably one of the first areas that needs to be addressed so that innovation can begin flowing through all of the corporate “pipes”.