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Kenneth Hirst, Hirst Pacific

Kenneth Hirst
Hirst: "Management is a natural reaction to the needs of both the company and it's employees."

One book: Machinery Handbook
One newspaper: The Wall Street Journal
One Web site:
One gadget: The lighter I designed
One plane ticket: Cook Islands

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(CNN) -- Global Office talks to Hirst Pacific principal Kenneth Hirst.

Global Office: What are you reading?

Kenneth Hirst: "A Short History of Nearly Everything" by Bill Bryson; a smart, thought-provoking book of discovery that makes you realize how little we know about everything. The Board of Education should take note of Bill's engaging, informative and entertaining style. It is a lesson in education.

GO: Who's been your biggest influence?

KH: Luigi Colani: a truly maverick designer with intelligence and foresight. His innovation and original work has influenced many of the products we use today. He has the rare ability to bring an object to life, to create something with a personality able to befriend the viewer; you can't help but smile when you look at his work.

GO: What's your biggest mistake?

KH: A happy balance between professional and personal life is difficult to achieve. If anything I work too hard, but my work is my passion and it's created some of my biggest successes and friendships.

GO: Is management an art or a science?

KH: Neither, it's a sense. Management is a natural reaction to the needs of both the company and it's employees. Good managers strategize according to forecasts, however a natural instinct for administering the plan whilst motivating the human element is key.

GO: What do you reach for on your desk when the fire alarm goes off?

KH: Keys, wallet, cell phone.

-- Kenneth Hirst is an award-winning product and retail interiors designer and the founder and principal of strategic design firm Hirst Pacific.

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