AEDEA — The story behind the name

In retrospect, AEDEA may not have been the best name for my consulting practice.
No one knows how to pronounce it (it is pronounced like “IDEA” but with an “A” sound: A-dia).
No one intuitively knows how to spell it (and hence people are tripping on my email address; not to mention my accountant kept mistyping it on tax returns).

Also, no one really knows how it is relevant to what I do — at least, until they ask. And then they think it is rather cool — and appropriate. So, here is why the name AEDEA resonated so much with me. In short, it symbolizes many aspects of my focus, approach, and values.

1. It is about collaboratively making things happen

As the Greek legend goes, there were three original Muses who collaborated to bring ideas to fruition, each contributing her unique talents.

  • Meletea was the Muse of the Thought, the Ideas, and the Imagination. She had a cunning gift for coming up with ideas and insights — be it because of her rich experience or well-developed intuition.

  • Mnemea was the Muse of the Creation or Formation. She possessed the ability to translate Meletea’s conceptual ideas into tangible, pragmatic plans that are easily communicated to others — and in the process, she contributed to the original abstract idea by adding a more concrete form to it.

  • Aedea, then, was the Muse of Execution and Performance. She had the talent to take Mnemea’s plans and execute them with passion and precision. Her performance gave life to Meletea’s original idea by adding her own touch and a sense of improvisation.

This collaboration echoes the stages of a typical consulting engagement perfectly. Ideas get fleshed out into plans and executed for improved performance. In reality, what I do aligns better with Mnemea’s talents, but read on for other reasons I selected Aedea as the inspiration for my company's name.

2. It is about growing and learning

Aedea was a Muse. And under an intriguing interpretation of the ancient past, the task of helping individuals grow, before written language and educational establishments existed, belonged to the Muses.

The Muses used entertaining and thought-provoking formats (music, theater, dance) to engage and inspire people, and thus help them learn. The Muses offered time-tested lessons, yet they improvised their delivery and adapted it to the circumstances of the day (hence, the origin of words such as museum, amuse, bemuse, and musings).

A large share of my work focuses on professional growth — either in group training settings or as coaching for teams or individuals. And just like me, the Muses used improvisation to create engagement — they were the original applied improv practitioners!

As a learning junkie myself, I find meaning in helping others grow.

3. It is about being authentic and playful

As I was playing with various ideas about naming my company and observing which were personally intriguing, a host of other unrelated reasons “clicked” for me:

  • The fact that there is Greek mythology involved in the backstory appealed to me because I grew up playing around Roman and Ancient Greek ruins in old Europe. The Muses are my kind of women, and quite possibly my ancestors!

  • I felt Aedea is an inexplicably attractive name. Then I found the explanation — it is a palindrome, a word that sounds the same if you read it backwards. In geometry, we call this symmetry. And in art, symmetry is a type of balance. And balance … (this train of thought keeps going to this day).

  • Aedea is actually the Spanish version of the Greek name Aoide. Using Spanish reflects my passion for the Argentine tango.

  • I had taken career success tests with seemingly contradicting results: One suggested I was born to be a management consultant, while another pictured me happiest as a performing artist on stage. Aedea reconciled the two because she was “the Muse of performance.”

  • Finally, the name AEDEA is an excuse to be playful and officially give myself the title of Chief Executive Muse. It is a bit cheesy, but the title reflects how I see the essence of my role as a growth advisor: to lead, to make things happen, and to inspire people to grow. It is also a great conversation starter at conferences.

Now you know the story behind the name, but at the very least, I hope you remember how to say it!

Written by Aneta Key. Original concept published in 2009. This blog post last edited April 2019.