Much of the lean movement is based on the understanding that as organizations mature, the things that make them more competitive (more resources, better talent and more sophisticated processes) are the very things that now slow them down. Continuous improvement is the only way to sustainable, competitive advantage focused on the future.
Steve Blank, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur, is credited with creating the lean movement that Eric Ries popularized in his book, The Lean Startup. Many place earlier credit for lean squarely with the Toyota company under the tutelage of Dr. W. Edwards Deming.
What does lean look like? Startups, the successful ones anyway, move fast, whiteboard to map solutions, get out in the field with customers, and develop a quicker minimum viable product (MVP) that can be iterated and improved once in the market.