Better Together

Question: Would you like to access hundreds of thousands of dollars of additional staff time to advance your mission? The answer is volunteers! Volunteers in Canada currently contribute billions of dollars of value to organizations. What is needed to tap into that value is addressed in the next four articles about designing, implementing, and sustaining an effective volunteer program.

Girl planting crop

Photo by Anna Earl on Unsplash

A volunteer is a person who does something, especially helping other people, willingly and without being forced or paid to do it
– Cambridge English Dictionary

  • Better Together: Introduction
    What motivates people to volunteer? …often volunteering on a regular basis fulfills a desire for significance; to be part of something bigger…
  • Better Together: Part 1 – Designing
    Design an effective volunteer program drawing on the deep resources available though Volunteer Canada.
  • Better Together: Part 2 – Implementing
    Photo by Anna Earl on Unsplash Volunteers… from the hockey mom down the street, the senior who serves at a homeless shelter or the saintly Mother Teresa…they truly are valuable! …
  • Better Together: Part 3 – Sustaining
    Photo by Anna Earl on Unsplash As we discussed in the previous blogs, volunteers are a human resources treasure! Volunteering benefits both organizations and individuals. Managing human resources has always…

  • The Communication Recipe
    We are social beings. Effective communication is crucial in having satisfying relationships in both our work environments and in our personal lives. The inadequacy of communicating virtually during the Covid-19 pandemic highlights human longings for connection and the need to adapt current practices.
  • The Amazing Science of Gratitude
    Science and faith concur: Grateful people are healthier, happier, better employees, more resilient in crisis, and more spiritually minded or connected to God.
  • Seeds of Hope for 2021
    The beautiful thing about our “normal” way of life being destroyed is that change is an opportunity to determine what is worth keeping and examine new seeds that are sprouting!
  • What’s in a Name?
    Starting a company can be an exhilarating journey. Discovering a need for something you or your team are specially qualified to meet, then crafting the solution and finally watching as…
  • Adaptable Learning
    Have you ever observed trees flex and sway in a strong wind? Or have you paused to count the growth rings in the trunks of trees which have been cut…
  • Home-Based Work and Learning
    With our regular routines and a world turned upside down by the Covid-19 virus, coping can be challenging these days. The good news is that while our circumstances may be…

Excel Re-Imagined

There are many sophisticated reporting and budgeting, forecasting and analysis tools on the market. Much of the marketing messaging around that software challenges us to ditch Excel in favor of their tool. They tell us Excel workbooks are prone to errors, don’t scale well, don’t handle succession well, and are subject to file corruption. It may all be true. But when everybody has left for the day, we still check the numbers in Excel.

Let’s learn to use this tool well to reduce the chance of errors and to make our workbooks scalable and understandable to other users.

Recent updates to Excel provide us with an even more flexible and powerful application. In this series of posts with accompanying demo workbooks for download, we explore some of the recent improvements. Read on….

  • Excel Re-Imagined
    An intro to the new functions and capabilities of Excel’s updated calculation engine.
  • Excel FILTER Function
    FILTER is used to return a subset from a larger set of data based on specific criteria.
  • Excel SORT Function
    SORT does exactly what its name suggests. However, because it updates automatically, it is often a superior choice than a pivot table.
  • Excel UNIQUE Function
    One of the most useful dynamic array functions, UNIQUE returns a list of unique values from a longer list. Used in combination with SORT and FILTER, it is useful in a wide variety of situaitons.
  • Excel SEQUENCE Function
    SEQUENCE provides the ability to create dynamic sequences of numbers or dates. This function is helpful with setting up amortization tables or forecasting models. It can even be used at the core of a dynamic calendar.
  • Excel XLOOKUP Function
    XLOOKUP brings numerous improvements over VLOOKUP: Returning values without regard to column relative position, predictable error handling and the ability to return an array of results.
  • Excel LET Function
    Released for Office 365 recently, the new LET function brings clarity and transparency to spreadsheets by assigning names to the results of calculations.