Best of all? Everyone did this without being asked. They all came together for a fun side project, quickly and quietly filling in the gaps to make KIMP happen. It was humility at work.
KIMP also reflects our strong sense of independence, including the freedom to fail. Aside from some light embarrassment amongst coworkers, there are no repercussions for awkward on-air moments or playing the wrong song. And because it’s all streamed live to hundreds of Mailchimp peeps, it lets us fail safely and noisily, and is helpful for the many introverts here to get experience with “public” speaking. In a way, it’s practice for “failing” in bigger ways, like speaking up in meetings or making suggestions to a team. When you have permission to fail, you’re more likely to try stuff that others might consider weird or unnecessary. A crucial by-product of that spirit is that it leads to innovation, which is essential to our growing organization.
Most obviously, the station is a way to practice creativity. Each week, 3 employees get an hour to play whatever they want (as long as it’s respectful and FCC safe, of course). We’ve had humorous talk shows, an hour of music from a 1994 water park, a show highlighting women in music, and a show celebrating Jay Z’s birthday. If you walked around our office the Wednesday after Prince died, you would have been hard-pressed to find a dry eye thanks to a powerful tribute show. KIMP has become a way to celebrate teams, mark milestones, and revel in our differences.
We even have a KIMP Slack channel where we talk about each show as it’s happening. More than that, employees discuss what they’re listening to, band t-shirts, each week’s new releases, and more. That channel is just one way our radio station has fostered new bonds and improved communication across the company. Perhaps most of all, KIMP has reminded all 800 of us that being yourself makes all the difference.