I use coloured flipchart markers frequently during my consulting sessions and workshop facilitation for companies, not only to record ideas and other thoughts for the groups, but also to depict concepts graphically and illustrate themes. I was recently introduced to the Neuland suite of products, a range of markers and related products of which is excellent. I was fascinated when reading through their catalogue and postings on their website to find out that the company name is also the family name of the business founders and specifically means “new ground” or “unknown territory” in German. Neuland seems to be “breaking new ground” in all that they do and offer their customers – as Guido Neuland explains: “The word “neuland” is commonly used when one is trying something new, forging into uncharted territory or when developing something ground-breaking. This meaning happens to coincide and reflect our company’s ethos to be the best innovator in our industry”.
Indeed, all in the company seem to live by their maxims of pushing forward and growing. Their quest for the following seems to give them the winning edge:
- Quality – this is paramount for them – they sacrifice taking the third-party route of manufacturing by producing many products themselves. This gives them control of the quality of each item and assures their customers that they stand behind every simple and innovative product that they make.
- Innovation – they push the boundaries from a technology standpoint. In their best-selling markers, for example, a simple inconspicuous “bump” on the marker casing ensures it doesn’t roll away when placed on a sloped surface. As Guido says: “We’re all about the details!”
- Big picture understanding – they believe that they supply visualisation tools for professionals and not just pens. They seem to grasp that visualisation ability is a leadership communication skill, all important to grow followers.
- Ease of use of products – not only are the pens ergonomically accurate and comfortable to use (recessed grips), but each pen has an easy refill option.
- Durability – the products are designed with lasting durability in mind and, therefore, extra attention is given from inception to the production stage to ensure their strict criteria are fulfilled. The quest for sustainability of company and products drives this desire for excellence.
A value-driven environment transports employees from “doing a job” to fulfilling a vision – in the Neuland context, being a part of assisting leaders all over the world with visualisation in their communication efforts. They are providing leaders with effective tools to impart dreams and a hope for the future.
It would seem that a set of well-published and consistently-modelled values drives extraordinary behaviour in an organisation and subsequently produces good results – all employees involved in something bigger than themselves (in this case, visualisation), an environment of innovation (where every idea is considered) and where failure is an opportunity to get it done better (Guido says: “We don’t always achieve success with every new product, but more times than not we hit our mark”). Employee pride develops, knowing that they are working for a winning team.