Defining Service Innovation

A colleague recently asked – what is service innovation?

OECD and others have written a lot about service innovation from a largely economic perspective, contrasted with agricultural or manufacturing innovation.

The biggest challenge in defining service and service innovation are the dominant logics – which is usually based on economics and sectors of the economy:

product innovation – a thing

process innovation – a set of activities

service innovation – a system with people inside

well aren’t there things and activities in systems with people inside?

so what’s the difference?

Here is the most concise I can be:

service is defined as the application of knowledge for mutual benefits (value co-creation)

service innovations scale the benefits of new knowledge, globally, rapidly, and sustainably

service platforms help scale service innovations – platforms can be:
technology: Internet, smart phones
business models: franchises, cartels
government policy and rules: universal education, universal access

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