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Cultural Change: Bucket Dippers or Bucket Fillers?

Cultural Change - Bucket Dippers or Bucket Fillers

I never thought I would be able to apply the logic of an eight year old to my work life and have it improve my work relationships, productivity, and expand my outlook on life. It was the concept of “bucket dipping vs bucket filling” that intrigued me. Everyone carries alongside of them an invisible bucket and as that person does a good deed, or acts in a positive manner, their bucket gets filled. If they treat people badly, take advantage of someone or do a negative act, their bucket dips.

This concept came back to me while I was at work and I thought about it within a corporate cultural context. If businesses were bucket dippers or fillers, what would your business be?

It can be difficult to take a step back and reflect on your work culture through multiple perspectives to decide in which direction yours should be heading, let alone define its current state.

Cultural change can seem like an intimidating process, especially given the qualitative and emotional grounds in which culture is embedded. However, once you make the proactive choice to assess, evaluate and progress your workplace culture, not only your business, but you as an individual outside of work, will begin to reap the benefits.

Cultural change is an ongoing matter that is constantly evolving – the sooner you address it, the easier it will be to manage in the long run. Similarly, the longer you leave it, the further away it will fall from your control. If people matter to your business, culture should matter to your business.

So where do we start? How can we manage and direct something so entrenched in personal characteristics and individualism? Let’s consider Junkeer’s four reasons for striving for cultural change:


The values of your culture should be positioned around individualised needs and wants of the employees so that you can inspire them to meet the needs of the organisation.


As an organisation, you want your employees to choose you as an employer by which they are inspired and a company for which they are excited to work.


The logic seems obvious – happiness increases performance, giving you a competitive advantage.

Public Perception

Your culture extends beyond your four walls, the public will judge you on your culture. Your customers are the public.

The next stage is to understand how culture is defined.

Junkeer defines culture simply as your business’ personality. A common mistake made by many companies is to equate the company’s mission statement with their culture. The mission statement is why your company is in business whereas the culture is the style with which your business runs.

There’s not one ideal culture for every organisation, but there is a right culture for your organisation. Have you chosen yours? Junkeer has created a matrix to help you choose your most suitable culture. Culture change starts with a choice.

Concentrating on culture alone in isolation will never work. Change your organisation if you want to change your culture.

Sadly, most organisations are bucket dippers. Why be like everybody else when you have the power to be a bucket filler always. Imagine how revitalising this could be for yourself, your business and your employees.


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Barry Lehrer

Having run my own small business for over twenty years, I understand one of the biggest challenges is protecting your business from potentially damaging personnel or HR issues. That’s why I developed Diffuze.

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