Golf balls used to be smooth, almost like weighted ping pong balls. According to legend, someone noticed how certain beat-up balls actually traveled further than the perfectly round balls. As it turns out, there’s some science behind this truth. As it also turns out, there’s a great metaphor behind it too.
A flat surface causes air to swirl around a traveling golf ball. The swirling air increases drag which slows the ball down. A ball covered in dimples creates a mixed airflow, which when created correctly, reduces drag and enables the ball to travel faster and farther.
Our professional lives and ideas are no different. Getting beat up a bit can help us to go that much farther than if we were untouched, smooth, and untested. Like the golf balls, we do better with dimples. They’re a feature, not a defect.