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How Coffee & Critique Helps us Speak the Same Language

How Coffee & Critique Helps us Speak the Same Language - coffee grounds

Fostering creative engagement, opportunities for low-stakes feedback, and increased visibility across departments in service of better customer experiences. 

Today digital collaboration tools can too often reinforce silos instead of bringing us together. It can be difficult to achieve functional collaboration that feels both constructive and personal.


At GLOBO, our commitment to creating better solutions and experiences for our customers, our linguists, and our end users (the limited English speaking population) requires a space for us to tinker and explore together. If your organization has ever struggled with finding ways to facilitate feedback and inspiration from across functional areas, perhaps you've asked the same question we did: How might we create moments that bring people together to connect and ideate? 


With coffee, of course.


Our answer is Coffee & Critique! Coffee & Critique is time set aside once a month for GLOBO team members to drink coffee and show projects in the works to gain feedback from the larger group. It’s open to everyone in the organization, with complete freedom to pop in and out as schedules allow. 


“Intrinsic motivations such as fun, camaraderie, and meaning may be just as powerful mechanisms for motivation, and may have especially beneficial effects on quality.”

- Crowdsourcing, Collaboration, and Creativity, A. Kittur, 2010


The core principle at work is that we’re all designers. At GLOBO, that means creating better experiences for prospects, customers, and linguists. For your organization, that might mean creating experiences for providers, staff, and patients. No matter the industry, treating work as deserving of critique enables us to leverage the wealth of experiences available to us. It also means we can understand each other a little better and take inspiration from one another. Talent gets a chance to learn Engineering’s lingo. Engineering gets a peek into Sales’ speak. And we all get a fuller picture of the end experience, our place within it, and the language used to describe it — all in service of making better experiences. 


It’s a time of improvement and alignment (and caffeination).


Coffee & Critique is just one of the many tools that enables us to foster an environment that supports creativity, innovation, and continuous improvement. If you’re interested in hosting your own Coffee & Critique, here are a few tips:

  • Extend an open invitation.  Invite guests to come prepared with a project they’d like to share. It could be in the form of an idea, a work-in-progress, or even a completed prototype — whatever they’re willing to share!
  • Set expectations.  Ask the Creator to come prepared with these questions in mind: 
    1. Who is the intended audience? 
    2. What is the purpose of this piece?
    3. In what context would you interact with it?
    4. Is there anything you specifically want feedback on or reactions to?
  • Designate roles.  At the beginning of each session, designate a facilitator and a scribe. The facilitator will ensure everyone who brought work has time to discuss or and the tools they need to move forward. The scribe will be assigned to take notes so those who are receiving feedback can absorb and discuss.


By building in regular cadences for this kind of low-stakes creative reflection, any organization can create an environment that fosters creative engagement and increased alignment across departments in service of better customer experiences.


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