Process Improvement for Service-Based Businesses

Most approaches used for process such as Six Sigma and Lean are designed for large-scale manufacturing and don’t meet the needs of service-based businesses. Textbooks on process and operations only cover enormous enterprise-level multi-billion dollar international companies. 

But how does process improvement apply to serviced-based and privately held companies? This is the gap I’m trying to fill and build education around. I help serviced-based companies build strong processes using an approach that matches their needs. 

People over process

My methodology is based on the principles of Kaizen and my experience with Toyota, which uses your biggest asset, people, to not just follow but build strong processes to help companies create the capacity to scale

At Toyota, we always said process improvement starts with how do we improve the lives of the person going through the process, and as a result, the business benefits. Unfortunately, this is one of the principles that is hidden among all the books written about process improvement.

What’s been happening over the last 10 years is that it’s been flipped on its head. Now it’s about:

What can the company get from this process? How can the company reduce cost, increase quality and drive profitability? And then at the very detriment of the people who are going through the process. This is one of the biggest mistakes an organization makes when solving processes.

My approach puts the people at the forefront of process improvement, both the customers and the employees.

Customers are the ultimate beneficiaries of the improved processes. Understanding their needs and requirements is essential in order to ensure that the changes made to the process are effective in meeting their expectations. Incrementally improving your processes will create customers for life

Your employees also play a critical role in process improvement by providing valuable insights, increasing buy-in and motivation, and ensuring practical and feasible solutions. Without the involvement of employees, process improvement efforts are likely to be less effective and less successful in the long term.

Making process fun

Business doesn’t have to be boring. I’m on a mission to make process fun. Most of the time processes seem like such a buzzkill because it’s usually coming from a place of problems.

In my work of leading teams do process improvement, we always start with defining the ideal state–a place where your employees feel loved and excited to come to work and customers are referring their friends and talking about you without you asking them to.

I believe that aligning towards this exciting ideal state that is missed the most in process work. Instead of focusing only on problems, we can have fun talking about the future. 

How do we achieve your BHAG? How do we achieve your brand promise? Then we go and design processes that create that. As we go, we solve problems along the way. 

If you rally behind the positives, process can be fun and exciting. 

Process for services

You don’t have to choose between serving your people and increasing your profits. The answer is having strong processes. I believe building processes can be simple, fun and get you to the next level of growth. 

This is why I developed The Flowstate Workshop: a 2-day virtual experience where I take you and the senior leaders through a tool to map out your flow of goods and information over time. Better said – it’s process mapping. 

In just two days, your team will have solved 20% of their problems without having to add anything new into the mix.

Stop assuming what is happening behind the scenes and get crystal clear instead so that you can feel peace of mind in your daily operations.

Visit to learn more or click here to apply now.

In love and respect,

Hilary Corna


Hilary Corna

Bestselling Author, Keynote Speaker, Podcast Host, Founder of the Human Way ™...

Hilary’s favorite title is HUMAN.


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I am starting a revolution. One business and one person at a time.



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