OBITUARY : Christopher Lorenz
Tuesday 13 February 1996
After reading history at Churchill College, Cambridge, Lorenz joined the Financial Times in 1968, learning his critical competence on the company comments columns and then the foreign desk. His work took him in 1971 to Frankfurt, where he increased both the quality and quantity of the FT's German coverage at an important time in Britain's run-up to entry to the EEC; and then back to London to become the FT's first electronics correspondent. His ability to integrate and explain the interconnection of science, technology, management and business made a significant contribution to the repositioning of the FT as a world newspaper in the 1970s.
Lorenz's move to the newspaper's recently created Management Page in 1977 saw him blossom as he revelled in the complex relationships between business, management and their external environments. He transformed the page into one of the central pillars of the new-style FT by applying a more rigorous theoretical discipline to the world of management and business, and through the pioneering inclusion of critical analysis alongside case studies.
His professionalism and high ethical standards put many business people and academics under public inspection, and not all of them were appreciative at the time. However, these same qualities gave him unrivalled access to many a corporate boardroom world-wide that was completely out of bounds to others. Typical of this was his invitation to be a fly on the wall during the cor- porate restructuring of British Petroleum.
Lorenz's continuing interest in the design and processes of management, and later of the nature of trans-national organisations, led to many definitive articles which put into perspective the glib and fashionable phrases issuing from unthinking boards. He wrote one of his last essays for me - "Design as a Strategic Management Resource", in Developing Strategic Thought (1994) - and at the time of his death was interested increasingly in the growing band of researchers and practitioners differentiating between managing and directing.
A lifelong interest in design stemmed from the late 1960s, when he became intrigued with his wife Clare's work as an architect and her extensive selection of designer friends at the Architectural Association School during one of its most prolific periods. This interest continued through his work in promoting the ideas of the Design Council and was made manifest in his book The Design Dimension (1986), which was published in seven languages.
Chris Lorenz had a marked sense of the absurd and his friends will remember him as much for his and Clare's ludicrous croquet matches in their sloping garden on Highgate Hill; the hilarious mulberry-picking parties where guests were given a plastic raincoat to protect themselves from over-ripe fruit and all participants ended looking as though they had been involved in a chain-saw massacre; his lifelong obsession with Nottingham Forest football club, which he often managed to turn into an annual article in the FT; his understated love of 1960s rock and roll; and his fascination with steam engines, which had taken him to over 90 per cent of Britain's steam railways.
A great personal claim was that he had washed down and then driven the famed locomotive Sir Nigel Gresley.
Christopher Lorenz, journalist: born 6 May 1946; married 1971 Clare Bury (one son, one daughter); died London 7 February 1996.
- 1 Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
- 2 I might be an MP, but that doesn't stop me fighting sexism with my breasts
- 3 Martha Stewart accuses Snoop Dogg of 'smoking for four hours' during Justin Bieber Roast
- 4 Google April Fools': company unveils backwards search engine and huggable digital assistant
- 5 April Fools' Day 2015: The best hoax news stories from around the internet
Martha Stewart accuses Snoop Dogg of 'smoking for four hours' during Justin Bieber Roast
April Fools' Day 2015: The best hoax news stories from around the internet
April Fools' Day 2015 live: The best pranks and fake stories from around the world
University of Cambridge: Remains of 1,300 scholars are found under building
Turkey power cut: Prime Minister says nationwide blackout could be caused by terrorists
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
Street preacher quoting from the Bible fined for calling homosexuality an 'abomination'
Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
David Cameron calls Labour 'hopeless, sneering socialists' while announcing 7-day NHS plans
£15000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company has 30 years of ex...
£27000 - £33000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing cloud based I...
£35000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Product Marketing Manager...
£16000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An expanding B2B exhibition and...