Pete Baston

Pete, the founder of IDEAS, is a Senior Executive Consultant with extensive experience in best practices, Quality Assurance, and the pursuit of excellence in company operations. He has performed due diligence investigations for financial institutions, foundations, and re-insurance companies, driving best practices and pursuit of excellence for their clients. Industries he has worked in include: energy, engineering and construction, manufacturing, healthcare, petrochemical, information technology, telecommunications, and many more.

Pete grew up in two worlds—Europe and Africa—and during that time he acquired four college degrees and formed his first business, an independent subsidiary of the Ajax Group, a Rhodesia-based commercial construction conglomerate. His consulting firm was the chief troubleshooter for the conglomerate, resolving engineering, project management and materials acquisition problems, as well as implementing best practices programs. Their work stretched all across African with international clients including Fluor, Soros, Maurabeni, Hyundai, Asea Brown Boveri, Bechtel and others.

His experience in Africa, where a shortage of resources absolutely required that engineering projects be done right the first time because there were no additional funds available to correct mistakes, gave Pete an enduring passion for “doing it right in the real world” and a reputation for accomplishing the seemingly impossible with minimal resources. Shuttling between England and Africa, he often says, meant learning to operate in perfectly opposed environments: how to get nothing done with lots of resources, or how to get everything done with minimal resources. This has translated into a life-long commitment to helping companies develop best practices for the pursuit of excellence, and using best practices and Quality Assurance as applied engineering. For Pete, this is the anchor for everything that a company does, and the key to consistent and enduring profitability. Deming’s 14 points are the manifesto that has accompanied him all over the world, and which he has integrated into field implementation and operations on every project he’s managed.

After the Rhodesian political implosion, Pete left Africa and spent a year and a half doing free-lance consulting throughout Europe. From there, he was recruited to the US by the California division of Fluor Engineering to provide best practices expertise and Quality Assurance oversight on assignment to a variety of teams. For a number of years he served as a troubleshooter and market development consultant for the Fluor Power Services Division and its research arm, Buildings of the Future, as well as for Nation’s Bank. In this capacity, he was certified as a quality auditor and performed due diligence reviews and construction project audits on billion dollar construction projects. In 1986, Pete founded his own manufacturing, design and service firm, Monkradle, to develop, manufacture and market advanced support equipment and systems for petrochemical and power plants to promote best practices and the pursuit of excellence in the energy industry.

In the early 1990s, as it became apparent that computers and information technology would eventually drive best practices and all of the industrial design and maintenance industry, he sold his company and took an extended sabbatical to learn digital technology from the ground up at the University of California San Diego, Northwestern University, the University of British Columbia and MIT. Pete pursued an independent and eclectic course of studies that eventually led to a list of technical certifications as long as his arm. In 1996, on a visit to Los Alamos National Labs and the Santa Fe Institute, he decided to settle in New Mexico. Over the following decade, Pete took on on a number of large technical concept development, best practices and problem-solving projects with government agencies and private companies.

In 2010, IDEAS moved its base of operations to Boulder, Colorado, a center for development of the most advanced parametric technology in the world. Pete believes parametric technology will be the cornerstone for future development of advanced best practices using digital workflow.

Pete is a frequent speaker, lecturer and writer on best practices and the pursuit of excellence and how they work in the real world.