Has anyone been to Palm Cove? Or more specifically, driven from Palm Cove to Port Douglas? Did you see the pebble towers? It’s a crazy, or totally understandable (depending how you look at it), phenomenon on the road from Palm Cove to Port Douglas.
For no apparent reason I looked to my right and saw a family stopped at the side of the road surrounded by pebble towers. And I kept thinking about them all day and knew we would have to stop and take a look on the way back.
I can’t remember the other tourist traps we visited that day but I remember that one; and as we were there building our towers at least 5 other cars stopped to do the same.
You see, everyone wants to be part of something. These stones were silent, but their presence was loud.
It felt exclusive. Even though so many people had obviously visited it was still a small stretch of beach on a small stretch of road. It felt ‘exclusive’. It wasn’t on any maps or guide books. You found out about it by word of mouth or just driving by.
It was easy. Anyone can build a pebble tower, from kids to creative people to rule followers. You could express yourself. There were tall towers, tiny ones, huge pebbles, ones near the water, ones on safer ground. I bet you could tell a lot about each builder by how and where they built.
But it also felt inclusive. Other people had been here before you and would come after. You were surrounded and inspired by their work. And inevitably while you were there someone else with the same idea would stop and have a chat.
Now don’t ask me why these stones were there. The locals couldn’t tell me. Maybe someone reading this can? And that mystery just adds to the experience.
But it stuck with me and still does. How a free, ‘silent’, unadvertised monument with no instructions or known reason for being can draw not a crowd but individuals en masse – like serial monogamy -to join in.
How can we replicate that in the workplace? As leaders, as agencies, as businesses – what can we learn from this tiny stretch of beach that will bring people towards us, intrigued, ready to join in and have a conversation?
Have a think about it and how it could work for you, your team, your company.