Ok, this is me waving the BS flag.
First of all, how do we define "waste"? How do we measure it? Is all inefficiency in that category? And really, how much waste is appropriate? Should we aim to get to 70% like Toyota? Should we be content with 90%? His point seemed to be that there's a lot of improvement to be made. I'm not sure he really understood the implications of what he was saying - isn't it possible that 90% (if that's even the right number) is absolutely the least amount of waste we can reasonably expect to produce?
It really gets back to the question of rational optimization - and regular readers of this blog know I don't believe in optimization, at least not when it comes to human-centric activities like project leadership, technology development, etc. Yes, there's something to be said for streamlining our efforts... but there can also be great value in creative exploration, even if it doesn't lead directly to the outcome we think we want. Sometimes the messy, inelegant preparation phase of the project is the most fruitful (eventually), even though it appears to be "wasteful" at first.