JUMPing across borders (2016)

As a global company, Umicore seeks to broaden the international experience of its employees to foster diverse thinking and bring fresh perspectives into the organisation.

The Junior Management Programme (JUMP) addresses this challenge through a “twin-coaching” format, bringing together two participants from different regions and business units. One twin joins the other for a month. Later, they repeat the process, switching locations.


In March 2016, eight sets of twins met in Brussels for a week of preparation, including intercultural awareness training, a strategic business game and an outdoor collaboration exercise. They began JUMPing later that spring. Take, for example, Yue Demey, a Cobalt & Speciality Materials project manager based in Shanghai, China. He spent a month working with Karolien Vasseur, a project leader at Group R&D in Olen, Belgium. In the autumn, Karolien joined Yue in Shanghai to continue their work. In addition to learning about each other’s cultures and business units, the twins laid the groundwork for further collaboration even beyond the two businesses.

“People can jump off the island of their own function and bring extra value to the organization.” - YUE DEMEY

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