Umicore: Entrepreneurs for Tomorrow

"Vlerick responded very positively to our requirements, and the participants have identified new business opportunities."

The Client’s Needs

With industrial operations on every continent and over 13,700 employees worldwide, Umicore is a top-class international player. The company’s changing business strategy and the focus on internationalisation and business development in China prompted Umicore management to develop an international custom programme for managers with leadership potential.

The Programme Design

“‘Entrepreneurs for tomorrow’ is a key programme within Umicore, bringing managers together from all over the world. With an average of 5-10 years’ experience in the company, the participants already have considerable operational responsibility. Besides passing on theoretical insights and practical skills, our aim was to stimulate productive interaction between managers from different regions and different business units.
The programme also provided the perfect opportunity to bring our talents in touch with senior executives. To underline the internationalisation dimension, the three modules are held in three different regions: in Belgium, China, and in Canada”, explains Mark Dolfyn, Umicore’s HR Development Manager.

With a clear idea in mind, Umicore approached Vlerick. “They suggested constructing the programme around three specific areas: business mastery, personal mastery and organisational mastery.” Umicore also had two special requirements: first of all, the international character of both the programme and the participants demanded an international faculty team; and secondly, the School was to cooperate with the American Centre for Sports Psychology, which specialises in coaching and leadership development.

The Result

The whole exercise was a very inspiring experience for Umicore and the participants. The leadership coaches who attended each session made sure that personal development was a leitmotif in each of the three modules. Each participant prepared a specific project beforehand, focusing on one aspect of their current job in which they wanted to make a breakthrough. Some themes were dealt with by the group as a whole, while others were worked on in smaller groups. This enabled the participants to practise their coaching skills. Dolfyn: “As a result the participants have identified new business opportunities.”


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