Lisa Kimball's Bio

Professional Experience

Founder, Executive Producer, Group Jazz
August 2000 - present

Group Jazz works as a production company to support the work of purposeful groups - teams, communities, task forces, organizations - whether they meet face-to-face or online or both. Group Jazz brings together the best tools, technologies, media, consultants, cast members and practitioners to create great group experiences that support action.  Lisa is a specialist in applications of electronic networking and the design of virtual spaces for organizations, teams, and online communities. She has deep experience in facilitating online groups and training moderators on multiple networks using most of the software environments available today. In addition to her work with corporate and other large organizations, Lisa consults with technology companies to design and implement applications.  Clients have included GroupServe, Third Voice, and  Lisa also coaches facilitators and team leaders who are working with groups virtually.

Lisa is currently working on a book, Group Jazz: Collaboration as a Performing Art (working title), based on her study of extraordinary groups like Cirque du Soleil, Dale Chihuly's glass blowing team,  the U.S. Olympic Women's Softball team, and others.  She has identified principles, patterns, and operating norms that can be applied by any team or group seeking to get extraordinary results.

Founder, Director, Caucus Systems

Caucus Systems was formed in May, 1999 to produce high quality virtual off-site meetings and events for global organizations. Lisa managed projects with companies including  IBM, Warner Lambert, HP, and Agilent to support learning, planning, knowledge sharing, and other key corporate processes in groups and teams that are distributed world-wide.  She served as CEO of the founding team that raised initial funding rounds and recruited and hired a complete management team for the company going forward.

CEO, Senior Consultant, Metasystems Design Group, Inc.

In addition to her leadership role in the company, Lisa had senior project management responsibility for clients including government agencies, corporations, nonprofit organizations, and educational institutions.  Lisa specialized in working with organizations to design their online environment to create the ambiance and culture needed for their unique applications. Some of Metasystems' key clients included Hewlett Packard, Merck, the U.S. Army, The Long Term Credit Bank (Japan), Mobil, the City University of New York, and the National Performance Review government reinvention project.

Metasystems Design Group created The Meta Network in 1983 as an electronic community to support a wide variety of individuals, teams, and organizations which continues today as one of the oldest online communities. Lisa took the lead to create and facilitate general discussions as well as special events, performance art, seminars, and interactions with guest resources for The Meta Network which currently supports more than several thousand accounts.

Sample Projects

Warner Lambert
Senior consultant on team to develop a new vision for the Consumer Health business involving several hundred people from all levels of the company world wide.

Hewlett Packard
Senior consultant on project to develop a prototype environment for communities of practice and virtual teams. Developing and delivering training for facilitators, managers and people taking other roles in animating virtual communities.

Senior consultant on multiple projects to produce virtual offsite meetings to suport sales, knowledge management, and training.

Developed training program for leaders of distributed teams.

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)
Senior consultant to Virtual Work Project at the Team Technology Center to prototype an environment and train facilitators to support virtual teams and communities of practice.

Senior consultant on virtual teams inquiry to explore strategies to design and facilitate environments to support teams distributed geographically and organizationally. Designing prototype team environment using web-conferencing in conjunction with other media and technology tools.  Consulting on issues and approaches for creating successful executive and project teams as well as communities of practice within the corporation.

City University of New York
Senior consultant on project to design and implement 21st Century Personnel Office.  Developing pilot projects to support communities of practice for human resource and personnel professionals at the university and college level.  Providing consulting and training on integration of communications and project support technologies.

George Mason University Program on Social and Organizational Learning
Affiliate Faculty Member.  Senior Consultant for course on Virtual Organizations, Fall 1997.  Participating in course design and delivery.  Developing web-based environment to support participant teams.

Insight Out Collaborations
Developing web-based conferencing environment to support the enhanced version of the Creativity in Business program adapted from the outstanding course taught by Michael Ray at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. The design includes a combination of face-to-face meetings, a CD-ROM, and facilitated virtual learning groups.

National Education Association, National Center for Innovation
Senior consultant on project to harvest the experience in Learning Lab sites in 29 states to scale up impact of innovations nation-wide. Designed and implemented strategies to use on-line technology together with social networks to leverage learning. Created web-based support system for Network Cadre which serves as the leadership group to link technology to team learning, systems thinking, and quality-based initiatives.

Boundaryless Facilitation
Collaborative inititiative with Catalyst Consulting Team to create a comprehensive facilitation framework which would include theories and strategies for facilitators using the full range of group environments from face-to-face, same-time/same-place groupware, distributed meetings (video/audio conferencing) and different time/different place meetings.

US Army Center for Health Care Education and Studies
Consultant to Knowledge Management Information Network project aimed at utilizing state-of-the-art information technologies to gather information relevant to the health care field, turn it into usable information, and to facilitate the exchange of this information around the world. Role includes consulting on the design of interactive conferencing environment integrated with other web-based applications and the training/coaching of facilitators of nodes associated with communities of practice.

Public Broadcasting Service Middle Schools Math Project
Manager of project to select, train, and support more than 150 mentor/facilitators for online learning communities based at 70 PBS Licensee stations in 35 states. Program has involved more than 4,000 teachers to date in a year long professional development program designed on a reflective practice model of transformative learning.

Industry Canada
Consultant in on-line applications design for national project to use computer conferencing and related internet tools for intra-industry cooperative ventures, research & development, and cooperative marketing. Conducted on-site and on-line training for conference facilitators and applications designers.

Reinventing Government
Design consultant for online network to continue the work of Vice President Gore's National Performance Review (NPR) Project. Currently working with Departments and agencies including Commerce, HUD, Energy, and USDA to create virtual working environments for teams implementing NPR recommendations. Projects include experiments aimed at the creation of "virtual" regions, one-stop-shopping service delivery, and regulatory review.

California Institute of Integral Studies
Worked with organization to design virtual campus for Ph.D. and MA programs hosted on The Meta Network. Project involves training and coaching faculty to make effective use of on-line environment for coursework, mentoring, and advising learners as well as creating a virtual community for the whole CIIS. Also serving as adjunct faculty in the CIIS School for Transformative Learning. Advising learners doing research related to the social and human aspects of technology. Courses taught have included, Community Building in Virtual Reality, which integrates perspectives from anthropology, architecture, and psychology with issues related to the design and facilitation of virtual communities and Research in the Age of Networks which focuses on issues and skills related to research and scholarship supported by web-based technologies.

City University of New York
Senior consultant on project to bring the security function in-house for the more than 20 colleges in the CUNY system. Project involved creating system for recruiting, selecting, training, and supporting security officers at all levels. Conducted four-year study based on focus groups and individual interviews with people from all parts of the campus and surrounding community to look at critical factors associated with success of the community policing model.

Other recent client organizations include: Corporation for Enterprise Development, The News Hour (PBS), GLOCOM (Tokyo), The Organization Development Network, LA County Bar Association, NYSERNet, Real Property Services (Government of Canada) and Virginia Center for Innovative Technology.

Experience History

Symposium on Facilitating Online Groups (1984) - Designed and moderated first online symposium on strategies and techniques for facilitating electronic groups which brought together many of the early thinkers including Murray Turoff & Starr Roxanne Hiltz, Peter & Trudy Johnson-Lenz, Art Kleiner, Stewart Brand, Jessica and Jeffrey Lipnack Stamps, and Harry Stevens. Symposium was "ported" to participants on multiple networks including The Meta Network, EIES, The Source, and CompuServe which created an "internetworked" experience prior to the wide availability of the internet.

Created f-t-f Symposium on Facilitating Online Groups (1985) which led to the formation of the Electronic Networking Association (ENA), a cooperative association of networks and networkers dedicated to promoting the use of electronic networking to enrich individuals, enhance organizations, and build global communities. Launched ENAs award-winning electronic newsletter, NETWEAVER, and served as managing editor 1985-1991 (archived at Chaired 4 major ENA conferences 1985-1991. Received ENA's Award for Outstanding Contribution to Networking in 1990.

Designed and facilitated "E-lecture" program on The Source (1985) to experiment with using an asynchronous conferencing environment to create structured experiences for members of online communities.
Participated on planning team of first national conference on electronic networking in Japan (Tokyo, 1988). Served on consultant panel for MITI on social and human aspects of networked communication. Led international delegation to first international conference on electronic networking in Japan (1989, Tokyo/Sendai).

Member of design team for the Santa Monica's Public Electronic Network project in Santa Monica, CA. Currently working on replication project in Salem, Oregon. Member of leadership group for US National Community Networking Association.

Worked with university and college clients to offer courses and programs via distance education technology. Clients include Univ. of Virginia, UC/San Diego, George Mason Univ., Bentley College, Eastern Michigan Univ., New York Univ., Univ. of Maryland, Jackson Community College, Oklahoma State Univ., Grand Rapids Junior College, Washington State Univ., and SUNY/Stony Brook.

Developed and delivered workshops and seminars for senior executives and managers on strategic use and introduction of technology. Clients include U.S. Army, EDS/General Motors, Proctor & Gamble, APHIS/Dept. of Agriculture, Hewlett-Packard, FAA, CAE Link, and the Long Term Credit Bank (Tokyo). Consultant, School for Strategic and Management Studies (2-year Executive Program with online component), Western Behavioral Sciences Institute, La Jolla, CA, 1985-1989.

Conducted research projects on social and political implications of telecommunications policy. Served on advisory panels for the U.S. Office of Technology Assessment. Served on facilitation team for a variety of gatherings in Washington, D.C. focused on telecommunications policy, potential applications of networking in governance, and related issues.

Faculty, Women's Campaign School at Yale University 1996. Delivered workshops and consulting on strategic use of the web and other network technologies in political campaigns at state and national levels.

Recent & Upcoming Presentations

October '04 - Organization Development Network - Dynamic Facilitation: Design Principles from the New Science of Complexity

November '03 - Keynote: Twenty Years of Civil Society & Networking (Japan)

June '03 - AAUW - High Touch Leadership in a High Tech World

May '03 - IIR Project Impact - Virtual Teams for Global Project Collaboration: Project Team Communication Strategies

May '02 - The Conference Board - Going Virtual - Teams Aren't What They Used to Be

April '02 - Organization Design Forum - Collaboration as a Performing Art

April '02 - IIR Tacit Knowledge Roundtable - How Companies Think

November '01 - Organization Development Network -

February '01 - Braintrust - Knowledge Creation in Virtual Teams and Communities

October '00 - Organization Develpment Network - Enabling Technology for Organization Development

September '00 - HPWorld/Interex - Leading Virtual Teams

June '00 - Linkage Best of Teams - Tools for Virtual Collaboration and Knowledge Sharing

May '00 - Linkage Change Conference - Using Change-Enabling Technology to Align Your Strategy, Systems, Processes, Structure, and People

May '00 - Vircomm2000 - Forming Effective Business Communities on the Web

Feburary '00 - Conoco Network Leaders Conference - Keynote:  Leading & Developing Knowledge Networks


"Facilitator Toolkit for Building and Sustaining Virtual Communities of Practice." (with Amy Ladd) in Knowledge Networks: Innovation Through Communities of Practice, Paul Hildreth & Chris Kimble (eds), 2004.

"Dynamic Facilitation: Emerging design principles from the new science of complexity" (with Nedra Weinstein & Trish Silber) in The IAF Group Facilitation Handbook. Jossey-Bass (forthcoming 2004).

Intranet Decisions: Creating Your Organization's Internal Network, Miles River Press, March, 1997.

Previous Background

Professional Managers Association, Washington, D.C. (1982 - 1983) President: Represented members' interests before Congress, Federal agencies, and the media. Managed and developed association positions and programs. Drafted legislation, developed coalitions, and worked with Congressional and committee staffs to gain support for legislative and regulatory change. Testified before Congressional committees. Served as liaison to executive branch task forces and advisory groups. Served as liaison to related organizations representing the career interests of women and minority workers.

U.S. Office of Personnel Management, Washington, D.C. (1978 - 1982) Employee Development Specialist: Senior team member on project to design selection and training programs for members of the Senior Executive Service. Designed and facilitated training programs for members of Qualifications Review Boards. Reviewed and approved management training programs and consulted with agencies to bring programs into compliance with new requirements. Consulted with agencies to design workshops and training programs for employees. Served on Federal Women's Advisory Group and participated on the subcommittee for training and development. Conducted workshops for people seeking careers in government.

Consultant, Educational Environmental Design (1975-1981) Worked on projects to design and build environments to support experiential learning. Managed Wheelock College Teacher Resource Center. Workshop leader, Boston Children's Museum. Developed and studied multi-media play structure for severely mentally handicapped kids in state institution.


Ph.D. Educational Psychology - Cognition and Learning, The Catholic University of America (awarded with distinction), Washington, DC, Dissertation: The Nature of Expertise in Senior Executives; The Role of Systems Thinking

M.S., Education, Wheelock College, Boston, MA

M.A.T., Social Science, Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT

B.A., Liberal Arts, Sarah Lawrence College, Bronxville, NY


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