In order to stay competitive in research and development (R&D) it is critical not only to improve the effectiveness of R&D but to simultaneously increase its efficiency as well. Additionally, real product differentiation must be achieved with reduced resources. This is where the lean innovation method comes into play. The goal of lean innovation is to apply the principles of lean thinking to the R&D management methodologies. In most companies only a few rudimentary steps have been taken to implement lean thinking within the R&D environment. Holistic and systematic approaches are usually missing. Stephan Krumm CEO, Schuh Group Joerg Starkmann CEO, Schuh Complexity Management, Inc. A study conducted by the Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering of RWTH Aachen University and the Schuh & Co. GmbH, based on 165 producing companies in Germany, shows that only one third of these firms have begun to systematically identify and eliminate waste in R&D. The lean innovation framework is based on 12 principles. This edition of the Complexity Management Journal is the beginning of a series in which all of the 12 lean innovation principles will be explained in detail.