Today at SecurityXchange in Park City, Utah, I participated as a guest guide at the event. Throughout the day, integrators, manufacturers, and end users hold meetings in the manufacturers’/service providers’ suites throughout the property, and guides are responsible for escorting the integrators and end users from meeting to meeting and keeping them on time. Guides drop the integrators and end users off at a scheduled meeting, and then come and pick them up at the end of the meeting to take them to the next scheduled meeting. With approximately 325 meetings scheduled over the three days of the event, punctuality is an absolute necessity. The event is a Zen retreat for the naturally punctual and a brutal boot camp training ground for the chronically late.

One mechanism for ensuring punctuality throughout the event is having the guides arrive at the suite five minutes early to pick up the integrator or end user and politely knocking on the door of the suite — thereby letting the people meeting inside know they have five minutes to wrap up their conversation. It is known as “the five-minute knock.” Today after tapping on the door of a meeting, I started to think it would be quite nice to have a five-minute knock in daily life.

Think about it: With sweeping changes facing the industry, it would be nice to have a five-minute knock to know when time is up before a trend ends, a five-minute knock before a trend starts so you’re ahead of the game, and, well, I have to be honest, even a five-minute knock before you sleep through your alarm because the power went out sounds nice. Ahhh, the possibilities.