Embrace the Unexpected
By Henrietta Thompson
Editor-at-Large Wallpaper*, editorial director Naked On The Piano
When Erik and Christian first approached Naked On The Piano with the idea of writing a book to explain the People On Point philosophy, we all envisioned a bestselling business tome the likes of which line the shelves at airport book concessions. It would be called ‘Enthuse, Empower, Engage!’ or some such. It would feature practical step-by-step advice, handy chapter summaries and tips for how (and how not) to turn staff into superheroes and bolster bottom lines using the POP golden rules.
In fact, we decided on a very different approach. In the following months I would find myself writing about a collection of rather more unexpected characters — a cast of multicoloured talking llamas. It’s safe to say no-one saw this coming, but in retrospect it was always going that way because this sort of thing is exactly what the People On Point process and vision enables: surprising turnarounds and real results that put smiles on faces.
The POP message in Mr Amazco’s Llama Farm is simple, strong and universal: that people who are treated well and with respect are better, more valuable people to have around — in business or, frankly, anywhere. But throughout the story, there are eight fundamental principles of engagement that can be translated into any real-world business.
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I can’t speak for anyone else as it’s too early to tell how Mr Amazco and his friends on the farm will be received, so I can only testify that from my own point of view that working with POP on this particular tale of business transformation has been one of the highlights of my working life to date. From planting the seeds of the characters at earliest stages of the idea to evolving each stage of the plot with Erik and Christian, who knew llamas could be so versatile in their messaging? And while there have been many late nights and the usual race to meet deadlines and get this tale into print, there would always be a purple disco dancing llama on the sketchbook in front of me, ready to lighten the mood.