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The television show Yukon Gold which airs on History Channel tells tales of adventurers’ hoping to strike it rich mining for gold in the northern wilderness. Each episode portrays the initiative, creativity and sweat involved in sluicing miles of rock with the hopes of a big payout.

The communication world is abuzz lately with advice about managing content. While technology is always changing and some communication tools may be new, managing content is not a new concept. Creating and managing content is a cornerstone of what we do (there’s lots more on the topic of creating content on our blog ). The greater challenge, I think, is unearthing the golden nuggets that are your organization’s best stories.

Here are 4 ways you can mine the best stories in your organization:

1.) Interview leadership, unit, or department heads
Using a prepared list of questions, meet one-on-one with your leadership team, as well as unit or department heads. Get their perspective about what the future plan’s are for the company, what recent successes they’ve had and why, what challenges are still to be overcome, and what projects they’re working on. Delve into the details and take good notes.

2.) Participate in unit or department meetings
Ask for permission to sit in on unit or department staff meetings, such as engineering, sales, manufacturing, operations, etc. Listen and learn about the operational and business implications of project challenges and decisions. Take notes and, later, cross-reference with your notes from Step 1.

3.) Buy a friend coffee or lunch
Invite your cube buddy or someone from across the office out for coffee or lunch. Have an informal, relaxed discussion about the business and each other’s projects. Your goal here is to gain different perspectives on the business environment.

4.) Be out and about
Make a point of leaving your desk to have face-to-face conversations with colleagues. Ask questions. Be curious. Read and learn all you can about how your organization works.

These four tactics will allow you to immerse yourself not only within your organization but also across it by functional area too. Through the process, you’ll gain valuable insight and perspective that will make your job easier. To be super effective, make these four activities part of your semi-annual or annual goals.

What tactics have you used with success to mine for the best stories your organization has to tell? We’d love to hear what you have to say!