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Welcome to the future of operations and strategic leadership.

Become a Certified Chief Strategy & Operating Officer (CSOO)

and¬†License Our Complete Lean Scaling System‚ĄĘ

Become the scaling expert and strategic thinking partner today's founders are looking for in their right-hand leaders and advisors!

 
APPLY NOW TO BECOME A CSOO

We don't just teach you how to be great at operations... because you already are.

We teach you how to strategically leverage operations to sustainably scale a business as the right-hand or advisor to the founder.

What is a Chief Strategy and Operating Officer (CSOO)?

A CSOO blends the operational expertise and leadership of a COO with the strategic insights and scaling expertise of a CSO.  They are the role a small business founder really wants when they hire a right hand.

Become an expert in:

Scalable growth.

Strategic systems.

Streamlined operations.

Stabilized + sustainable results. 

Why It Matters

  • Say goodbye to the revenue rollercoaster and cash flow challenges with longer client retainers

  • Trade in constant overwork and burnout for sustainable results at a sustainable pace

  • Elevate¬†your pricing to reflect the value you can confidently deliver to your clients (why should they be the only ones scaling their impact and profit?)¬†

  • Simplify your business with proven turnkey service offerings and operational systems

  • Differentiate yourself from a sea of other Ops Leaders and showcase your strategy and scaling expertise (hint: that's what a founder really wants in their right-hand)

  • Uplevel your own business as you uplevel your clients businesses

  • Become a "Visionary Whisperer", able to work with any founder and be their trusted right-hand at an Executive-level¬†

What You Get 

With the CSOO Certification & Lean Scaling System License

Let's face it - you're already great at what you do...

Let's take it to the next level and deepen your mastery while giving you all the systems and toolkits that will make you shine like the superstar you are!

MBA-Level Training & Curriculum

Live & Interactive 1-Day Intensives

2x Monthly Live Support Calls

Turnkey Systems, Templates & Toolkits

Capstone Projects & Case Studies

Private CSOO Community

The CSOO Certification is the Operational Leader's MBA.

Just as an MBA covers core business disciplines, this program provides a comprehensive understanding across numerous domains critical for small business success and scale.

Upon completion, you have the flexibility to specialize in the areas that best fit your unique vision and strengths with tailor-designed service offerings, or you can leverage everything you learn to be the CSOO to a small business founder. 

You'll graduate as the dynamic, strategic operations and lean scaling expert that founders desperately need to bring their boldest ambitions to life.

We Focus on  Proprietary Systems Which You'll Be Certified In and Able to License

Each one is specifically designed to meet the unique needs of a small business. They are exclusive and original systems that you will not find anywhere else. 

Think of each system like the courses you would need to take and pass to obtain a college degree. We focus on one comprehensive system per month.

1. LEAN DREAM TEAM‚ĄĘ SYSTEM:

Build a High-Performing, Self-Led Team

Most businesses have the wrong people in the wrong seats and significantly overspend on underperformance. Our proprietary system solves this:

  • Team Assessment: Quickly identify talent gaps and provide that "aha" moment for founders to restructure their team (and immediately see the value of YOUR ROLE).
  • Lean Dream Team Design: Architect the ideal team structure, placing the right people in the right roles to enable the founder to step back from operations.
  • Self-Led Team Practices: Uplevel team performance with tools and techniques for a self-managed, high-performing culture.¬†

Successfully lead and optimize your teams, maximize their performance, and liberate your founders with our proven Lean Dream Team System.

Certification: Lean Dream Team Architect

2. LEAN STRATEGIC PLANNING‚ĄĘ¬†SYSTEM:

Build the Bridge from Vision to Results

Most businesses miss the mark with under- or over-planning. Our framework keeps you agile while aligning efforts to your founder's vision:

  • Complete¬†Planning System:¬†Master planning at different time horizons, from¬†long-term strategic roadmaps, to 90-day strategic plans, to monthly and weekly actionable plans that span projects, products and services, marketing, and operations.
  • Planning Playbooks & Templates:¬†Hit the ground running with our comprehensive guides, planning meeting agendas, goal-setting tools, retrospectives, and more.
  • Vision Clarification:¬†Help founders articulate their vision through our proven "Rich Fulfilled Life" and "Vision & Values" toolkits.

Balance innovation with focus and avoid overwork with our proven Lean Strategic Planning System.

Certification: Lean Strategic Planning Expert

3. LEAN MARKETING OPERATIONS‚ĄĘ SYSTEM:

Build a Scalable Growth Engine

The reality is that most marketers are excellent at the creativity, strategy, and tactics of marketing, but often not at the systems and operations that make marketing efforts efficient, predictable, sustainable, and fully integrated with the other key functions of the business. Our Lean Marketing Ops System makes it simple for you to close this gap:

  • Marketing Operations & Systems:¬†You'll learn how to systematize and optimize a business's marketing and¬†sales funnels and marketing and launch planning process, plus¬†implement the right¬†measures and analytics.
  • Lean Content Marketing:¬†Simplify, systematize, and uplevel the business's¬†content creation and repurposing approach to be strategically aligned with their growth goals. Most businesses see double¬†the¬†results in half the time with our proprietary Lean Content Marketing system.¬†
  • AI-Enabled Marketing Engines: Understand where to leverage AI and where to keep the human touch in marketing efforts for the best results. You'll understand how to build an AI engine that strategically enhances thought leadership and growth.

 Far too many businesses struggle with marketing chaos and unpredictability, leading to burnout and unsustainable results. You'll master how to simplify and streamline marketing systems and minimize downstream impacts.

Certification: Lean Marketing Operations Expert

4. THE LEAN EFF-ING BUSINESS‚ĄĘ¬†SYSTEM:

Eliminate Wasteful Inefficiencies and Increase Productivity

Every business leaks time and money through operational waste. Reclaim those resources and lead an operationally efficient business with our proven approach:

  • Productivity Powerhouse: 10X the teams productivity with individual and team based productivity techniques and tools. Improve the business's productivity and operational efficiency by eliminating waste.¬†
  • Waste Assessment:¬†Our proprietary digital audit pinpoints which of the 10 biggest areas of waste are impacting profitability and capacity.
  • Operation Reclamation:¬†Leverage our turnkey tools, techniques, and templates to streamline operations and minimize waste to quickly increase profit margins and help the founder¬†reclaim time.

You will become an expert in identifying and eliminating waste and stopping the leaks, recapturing lost profits, and refocusing the business.

Certification: Lean Operational Efficiency Expert

5. LEAN BUSINESS OPERATING SYSTEM‚ĄĘ¬†(LBOS):

Systematize Operations to Build a Self-Running Machine

Most businesses lack the scalable systems to thrive independently from the founder, relying on overly complex or nonexistent processes. Our Lean Business Operating System (LBOS) provides the streamlined "system of systems" for efficient, consistent operations:

  • Turnkey Business Playbook: Hit the ground running with our comprehensive, ready-to-deploy templates covering vision, structure, policies, tech stack, and more.
  • Strategic System Workflows: Focus on high-value cores like marketing, sales, delivery, finance, and client/team management.
  • 100-80-20 SOP Framework: Tailor¬†SOP documentation levels to avoid over-engineering while maintaining standards.¬†¬†Say goodbye to unused SOPs collecting digital dust.
  • Performance Dashboards:¬†Implement turnkey KPI tracking and reporting for data-driven decision-making.
  • Optimized Tech Stack: Rightsize tools, incorporate AI, and automate for a seamless digital backbone.

Implement the LBOS to transform any company into a semi-autonomous growth engine capable of scaling with or without the founder's direct oversight.

Certification: Lean Business Operating System Expert

6. THE AI-ENABLED BUSINESS‚ĄĘ SYSTEM:

Automate Growth & Operations

Scalability is built on leverage. Automations and AI-tools and technology provide leverage in ever-expanding ways that previously seemed impossible but can now drive business growth and reduce overhead.

  • The AI-Enabled Agency Model:¬†Multiply your capabilities and expand your¬†service offerings without expanding your time or expenses with an AI-driven "team" to support your clients.¬† Think premium pricing with reduced overhead and expense!
  • Automatic Operations: Give the businesses you work with the ultimate upgrade with automations in the places that will provide the most leverage for scalable growth.¬†
  • AI-Enhanced Marketing: Understand the tools, prompting, and do's and don't's of successfully leveraging AI for content and marketing.

Become highly knowledgeable and skilled at leveraging AI for scale while keeping things simple. This will be increasingly expected of any Operational Leader, and required for a CSOO.

Certification: AI-Enabled Business Expert

7. THE LEAN SCALING SYSTEM‚ĄĘ:

Create the Ecosystem for 7-8 Figure Sustainable Scaling

You learn our COMPLETE SCALING SYSTEM designed specifically for small businesses scaling to multi-7 or 8 figures, eliminating complexity while rapidly optimizing for maximum impact, profitability, and sustainability:

  • Lean Scaling Ecosystem with¬†Simplify to Scale: Become an expert in our signature Simplify to Scale framework¬†to create a complete scaling ecosystem where scaling isn't only possible but it's simple and sustainable.
  • 9 Engine Assessment:¬†There are 9 engines that every business runs on.¬† You'll be able to quickly identify which engine needs to be tuned via an interactive assessment, giving you clarity and focus on the areas that will provide the biggest impact in your work.
  • Scalable Signature Offer Suite and Business Model:¬†So many businesses who want to scale are not actually scalable. Transform their¬†business model and offer suite into one that supports their vision, ensuring scalable offers that are customer-journey-aligned and designed for better conversions, delivery, and client experience.¬†

Become a lean scaling expert with the blueprint to simplify, stabilize, scale, and sustain the businesses you partner with in a proven and systematized way.  This will be a major differentiator for your services and set you miles apart from other Operational Leaders.

Certification: Lean Scaling Expert

8. THE STRATEGIC LEADER SYSTEM:

Master Strategic Leadership Principles

As a CSOO, your role bridges both visionary and practical roles and requires a unique skillset including:

  • Strategic Thinking and Leading Change:¬†Develop the ability to think strategically, foreseeing how vision and abstract strategies translate into actionable steps and how to align changes in the businesses; understand techniques for future-proofing the business by anticipating market and industry shifts.
  • Advanced Communication and Leadership:¬†Enhance leadership communication skills to effectively manage upwards and downwards within the organization including techniques for handling difficult conversations and conflict resolution, and setting clear expectations and accountability standards.
  • Problem Solving and Decision Making: Develop the skills and equip other leaders with the skills to make informed decisions and solve problems that align with strategic business goals including problem-solving strategies in complex scenarios.
  • Financial Strategy and Analysis: Understand financial modeling and forecasting for strategic decision-making plus budgeting, resource allocation, ROI analysis, and strategy-related performance metrics and KPIs.

As a CSOO, you will be empowered to not only understand and execute the founder’s vision but also lead the business towards strategic success effectively.

Certification: Strategic Leader

9. THE¬†FRACTIONAL CSOO SYSTEM‚ĄĘ:

Build a Highly Profitable and In-Demand CSOO Service Offering

Learn how to integrate CSOO services into your existing business model or build a complete business model and offer suite around them:

  • Value-First Model:¬†Our¬†proprietary value-first model makes it a no-brainer for¬†leads to become clients; you get paid up-front to deliver immediate value that leads to ongoing and long-term retainers
  • Million-Dollar Business¬†Model:¬†Your clients shouldn't be the only ones reaching 7 figures and beyond. Learn different business models and structures to take¬†your¬†business to multi-6 or 7+ figures leveraging the Fractional CSOO System as the foundation.
  • Visible Ops Blueprint:¬†One of the challenges that leads to founder frustration and ended contracts is lack of visibility into what their Ops Leaders are doing; our Visible Ops reporting and dashboards make sure this doesn't happen
  • The Visionary Whisperer Mentoring:¬†Understand¬†how to work with a Visionary and be their trusted right-hand advisor at an Executive-level (which is very different than other levels)

Certification: Chief Strategy and Operating Officer (CSOO)*

*CSOO is a cumulative certification - must complete other certifications to be eligible for CSOO

We structure the entire CSOO certification process to give you the necessary combination of knowledge, templates and tools, and skills and experience to confidently step into the executive and strategic leadership role of a right-hand CSOO, whether fractional, full-time, or contract.

I'M SO IN! LET'S GET THIS APPLICATION STARTED

Each system includes live and interactive training workshops, on-demand modules and supporting content, templates, toolkits, and playbooks that you can plug right into your business and begin using and selling right away.

WHAT'S INCLUDED WITH EACH SYSTEM

You don't have to wait 9 months to start generating revenue and showcasing your certification! 

Each month you have access to new skills, a new capstone project for mastery, and an entire turnkey system to begin leveraging AND selling. Plus you have a new specialized certification each month on your way to becoming a certified CSOO.

Here's what you get every month:

  • Live 1-Day Intensive: 1¬†full virtual day to deep dive into the system, workshop implementation strategies, and set up a capstone case study for mastery¬†
  • Toolkit & Content: Access to turnkey implementation playbooks and tools and supporting training modules
  • Capstone Case Study: Implement what you learn with our carefully crafted capstone projects which you'll turn into case studies to sell your services
  • Certification Exam: Pass a knowledge exam and submit your capstone project to receive certification per system; just like a college degree where you have to pass each course, passing your certification for each system is required to receive your overall CSOO certification

But that's not all...

YOU ALSO GET

  • Live Twice-Monthly Coaching Calls for Situational Support

  • Private¬†CSOO Community to Network and Build Relationships

  • 1-Year Membership in the Right-Hand Revolution Community

  • Individual & CSOO Certification Badges Upon Passing of Exams¬†

  • 1-Year License to Each System Upon Passing of Exams

  • Eligibility for Matching Services (available in 2025)

  • An Invitation¬†to the Strategic Ops Think Tank*

*Exclusively available to certified CSOOs

APPLY NOW TO BECOME A CSOO

It’s everything you need to successfully scale your clients businesses while scaling your own!

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Scaling isn't easy... but it can be simple with the right expert guidance and support.

That's where you come in!

Who the Certification and Licensing is For

CSOO certification and licensing is exclusively for those with existing operational and leadership experience including:

  • Fractional COOs, CSOs, and CMOs¬†seeking to round out expertise and add a credibility boost with a certification
  • Consultants and Advisors¬†who want to¬†differentiate as true scaling experts
  • Agency Owners¬†wanting to¬†train and certify their teams and license turnkey scaling solutions for added revenue streams
  • OBMs, PMs, Ops Managers, DOOs, & Chiefs of Staff¬†ready to expand their skillset to¬†include both¬†strategic executive leadership and scaling expertise
  • Corporate Operational Leaders¬†pivoting to the entrepreneurial world
The CSOO Certification is ideal for those focused on partnering with small businesses (those generating under $50M revenue and with less than 100 employees) or with funded start ups.
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“Crista and her team provide a learning environment that truly sets you up to succeed. Having calls to expand on a specific topic, with resources and templates provided for each, lead to systematic, real-time progress within our business.

The hiring section saved us countless hours of work and re-work.

I also liked how you knew enough about each person's business to inject comments specific to them and their business during the trainings. It made it more tangible and created a more personalized experience for each of us.

I can't recommend this program enough!¬† Thank you!‚ÄĚ

Meet Crista Grasso

As the "Business Optimizer," I specialize in elevating the talented leaders who serve as the right hand to visionary founders and CEOs. My mission? Helping these invaluable operations experts level up to become true Strategy and Operations Leaders (SOLs).

I know firsthand that sustainable growth doesn't require rigid, overcomplicated solutions. That's why I take a radically simple approach - identifying the core leverage points and architecting the repeatable systems and flows to maximize impact with minimum complexity.

With over 20 years as a world-renowned lean and agile transformation expert and working in lock-step with the C-Suite of Fortune 500 leaders as well as bootstrapped small businesses, I blend strategic thinking and creative problem-solving with the right systems and structure to consistently provide simple, yet innovative, solutions tailored for each client's ambitious vision and goals.

And I created an entire lean scaling system for you to do the same!

As a certified Chief Strategy and Operating Officer ( CSOO), you'll uplevel from putting out daily operational fires to co-creating the bigger strategic picture alongside the CEO. You'll be the force that frees your visionary leader to focus on thought leadership while you orchestrate the strategy.

It's time for behind-the-scenes operators to take center stage as equally vital co-creators of success. Let me certify you to optimize operations and unlock simple and sustainable scaling aligned with the business' highest ambitions.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Ready to Get Started? APPLY NOW

About Your License 

Our systems, templates, toolkits, and assessments have been carefully crafted from more than 30 years of experience leading and scaling businesses ranging from Fortune 500 giants to small online service-based businesses.

There is nothing cookie cutter about the content and it is all exclusive to Strategic Ops Institute and our sister company, Lean Out Method.

With your license, you're not just getting high-value templates and tools, you're getting fully vetted systems that have been used successfully with hundreds of small businesses like the ones you work with.

Curious what kind of results clients get with the Lean Scaling System?

Here are just a few

Regular investment starts at $18,000 to become a certified CSOO and license the full Lean Scaling System in your business... but lucky for you, we're kicking off a beta round of the certification so you can get full licensing for half that when you join now!

Your Investment as a Beta Partner?


Far Less Than The Value of Gaining Only 1 New Retainer Client

Most Flexible

$800 / mo

12 MONTHLY PAYMENTS

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Best Value

$9000

PAY IN FULL

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To be effective as the right hand to a founder, you need to understand how all the puzzle pieces fit together.

But just to be clear, understanding it all does NOT mean doing it all.

Doing it all leads to burnout.¬† You've probably tried that (or was that just me?!?ūü§¶‚Äć‚ôÄÔłŹ).

You don't want a founder to transfer their burnout behaviors to you, expecting you to be the one to DO all the things - operations, leadership, marketing, sales, business development, client support, etc.

As a CSOO, you elevate above the doing to being the orchestrator. The one conducting the symphony, not the only trying to frantically run from instrument to instrument and play them all.

You need to understand the vision and orchestrate the right people in the right places to bring that vision to life. 

Doing this effectively is part art and part science.

That's why in addition to each of the systems above, we provide micro-trainings in each of our Q&A calls on the following:

  • Strategic leadership and orchestration at the Executive level
  • Navigating challenging conversations and resetting unrealistic expectations
  • Acting as the bridge between the founder and the team
  • Setting and holding boundaries
  • Balancing your own rich fulfilled life with a rich fulfilled business
  • And so much more!
I'M READY TO BECOME A CSOO! TAKE ME TO THE APPLICATION

Some of the Immediate Benefits

Implement turnkey stand-alone services designed to turn into retainer clients

Systematize and scale your own services as you scale your clients' businesses

Differentiate by becoming a certified lean scaling expert

Be seen as a trusted strategic thinking partner and advisor

Long-Term and Ongoing Benefits

Elevate Your Strategic Capabilities

As you pursue the CSOO certification, you'll enhance your strategic acumen, enabling you to foresee and navigate complex business challenges. This skill is critical not only for the growth of your own consulting or advisory business but also for guiding your clients through their strategic initiatives to achieve their vision.

Master Operational Efficiency

The program arms you with cutting-edge techniques to streamline processes, boost efficiency, and reduce costs. Applying these skills will help you scale your own operations seamlessly and do the same for your clients, ensuring both businesses can grow without operational hiccups.

Elevate Your Leadership and Influence

Become the Executive-level strategic thinking partner every founder is searching for. Developing your leadership capabilities is key. As a CSOO, you will gain the skills to inspire and manage teams effectively, crucial for implementing changes and fostering a kaizen culture of improvement both within your business and for your clients.

Stand Out with a Distinct Competitive Advantage

By mastering both strategy and operations, you set yourself apart in the marketplace. This dual expertise makes your services highly attractive to small businesses needing a leader who can fill a broad role and drive significant change.

Implement Proven Systems

Licensing the lean scaling system gives you a ready-to-deploy framework that's been tested and refined in various markets. This system not only simplifies the process of transforming operations but also ensures consistency in delivering high-quality results for your clients and your own business.

Achieve Financial Success

Your unique position to impact both strategy and operations allows you to significantly enhance profitability and efficiency for your clients and your own business. This direct contribution to bottom-line growth justifies premium pricing for your services, enhancing your financial success.

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