There are many innovations, as we mentioned earlier, that are less obvious or even completely invisible to managers, namely those that relate to processes in controlling. If a company introduces a new forecasting method, establishes a "reporting factory", standardizes and automates routine processes, or outsources its processes to a shared service center, then the client "management" is only marginally affected; the main changes occur in the area of controlling itself. However, the distinction is not always clear-cut. The innovation BSC, for instance, not only has the characteristics of a product, it also leads to new or changed processes in controlling. Conversely, a new forecasting method can bring about such major changes that the management also notices and consequently could, or even should, be informed about them.
There are overlaps with two other types of innovation which – according to Tidd and Bessant – should be considered. Both authors define position innovations as changes in the context in which products or services are introduced and marketed (c.f. 2009, p. 21). A good example of this is the new campus approach to the planning process of Deutsche Telekom AG. Contrary to the norm, controllers take on fewer content-related tasks (such as suggesting concrete targets) and instead provide top management with a “mere” platform for discussion where they set targets together. So, controllers have adopted a more organizational and supportive role which is a true innovation if you consider that – according to the findings of the WHU Controller Panel – the brunt of planning activities performed today are carried out by controllers rather than managers.