I’m always looking back. But never staring. All ways looking. In all ways — exploring. Looking deeper.

And in way, that’s something to the way the we work, we think. Look deep. Go further. Be in: their there.

Where they are.

What that means is doing brand work that is about examining deeply in the working and living — the practice space — of the clients that we partner with, what their dreams are, and what visioning might emerge from listening collaborations.

What vision? What dream? What is held to heart by the leadership. That’s reflective. Part speaks to our clients; part, as well, speaks to me. How then to practice what you preach; where is the truth, found there — within? At a Summit for the Girvin brand (which is one, me, two, the firm) we talked about that. What are the components of the Girvin (Tim) genomic character; and what are the aspects of inheritance for Girvin, the firm? “Be curious”, is the outcome.

In a way, it’s about how to connect with our clients — and to be sufficiently curious that we move into — within — their minds and culture. And that this attitude is part of the Girvin culture.

Never say never.
Go forth, get into it.
Stride out. Risk that step.
Expose your self. Tell your story.
Get it — go — out there.

So I apply that, in a way, to the exploration of words. And we’ve been developing the returning enclosure, the renewed strategy of how Girvin works with companies in the very beginning, or in their newly framed emergence, when they are nearly at the origins of their birthing, the conception. We help them get started, we move in with them, for a bit. We brood them. Nestle them. Nurture them. This process can help from the beginning, when a plan is a plan and it’s only people’s dreams that are in play. Or it can be that company that’s trying to think of finding its story anew and creating a new telling, shifting the character to a new framing of content, semantics and visualizations.

We’re doing that now with a grouping of companies. Working with them. Moving in. Guiding. Finding, collaboratively, the way. What’s the path, in evolution? Working together, we find it.

Here’s the exploration, then, to the opening intimation of the incubational process — the initial nurturing, warming, it’s about this:

1614, “brooding,” from L. incubationem (nom. incubatio) “a laying upon eggs,” from incubatus, pp. of incubare “to hatch,” lit. “to lie on,” from in- “on” + cubare “to lie.” The lit. sense of “sitting on eggs to hatch them” first recorded in Eng. 1646. The verb incubate is first attested 1721. Incubator “apparatus for hatching eggs by artificial heat” first attested 1857.

For me, it’s the idea of the warming, collective instinct of the opening nurturing; and it’s less about the lying on, as it is the lying in. The collaborative nesting — the nestling — is about the formative development, bringing the entity to wing. Take flight. And take that flight to all different paths, directions, and destinations, … to build, grow and evolve your business, along lines not originally conceived or anticipated through brand extension, licensing, merchandising, and channel development in alliance with our Intellectual Property Management specialist, Andy Salvador.

What, then, to this variation in word use? In moving backwards in time, deeper into the heart of the word — to the spirit or spiritual side, the nightmare, found in dark dreaming — the incubus. But it was less about a spirit and more about something literally, lying on...

c.1205, from L.L. (Augustine), from L. incubo “nightmare, one who lies down on (the sleeper),” from incubare “to lie upon” (see incubate). Plural is incubi. In the Middle Ages, their existence was recognized by law.

But to incubation, so comes first the breeding, then the brooding — if there is the beginning, then there is the evolution in that exploration. The team is concocted, the vision aligned — and the mind full is made. The concept appears. This speaks to the realm of that which is made, hatched, by heat. But this link to incubation falls far further back in time, to the ancient lineage of the Proto Indo European word for fire – which, curiously enough, as well, speaks to brand (*bhre-).

And the breed comes from the brood —

O.E. bredan “bring young to birth, carry,” also “cherish, keep warm,” from W.Gmc. *brodjan (cf. O.H.G. bruoten, Ger. brüten “to brood, hatch”), from *brod– “fetus, hatchling,” from PIE *bhre– “burn, heat” (see brood). Original notion of the word was incubation, warming to hatch. Breeding “good manners” is from 1596.

O.E. brod, from P.Gmc. *brod (cf. M.Du. broet, O.H.G. bruot), lit. “that which is hatched by heat,” from *bro– “to warm, heat,” from PIE *bhre– “burn, heat, incubate,” from base *bhreue– “to boil, bubble, effervesce, burn” (see brew). The verbal figurative meaning (“to incubate in the mind”) is first recorded 1571.

“to produce young from eggs by incubation,” from M.E. hachen (c.1250), probably from O.E. *hæccan, of unknown origin. Hatchery is first recorded 1880.

And finally, the brand development method speaks to a kind of workshop of the laboratory. The labor is collaborative — it’s a team effort that is exemplified in the BrandQuest® tools that Girvin’s been using for decades. Never a still target for practice, it, like everything else we do is evolving incessantly.

1605, “building set apart for scientific experiments,” from M.L. laboratorium “a place for labor or work,” from L. laboratus, pp. of laborare “to work” (see labor). Shortened form lab first attested 1895.

Be curious. Be: in touch.

tsg | nyc