Exclusive Interview with Laide Abel, Author of “People As Assets”

Hi Laide! Congratulations on self-publishing your debut book People As Assets: Building High Performance Organizations. What’s it all about?

It combines the philosophical and practical aspects of people strategy in organisations, making a compelling argument for why organisations need to truly view and treat their people as assets. It also provides an accurate insight into the true meaning of ‘asset’ as far as people in organisations are concerned. Then it lays out a practical blueprint for the strategic management of people to optimally achieve organisational objectives while keeping employees engaged and motivated. The book is structured along the natural employee-in-organisation lifespan of admission, induction, retention, and separation.

What made you want to write a book?

Over more than three decades of working in the corporate world as an employee and as a consultant, and serving on the boards of organisations, I realised that people management is arguably the single most challenging aspect of business for every business—big or small; in every sector—private or public. I studied the fail points, and analysed and researched where the details of the solutions lie. I wrote the book because I considered it necessary to present a workable solution to every organisation and everyone involved in managing people.

What skill do you feel is most important in writing a book?

I would say the biggest key to getting the writing completed was total commitment and tenacity; a solid determination to finish. 

What was your biggest challenge in getting the book ready to publish?

That would be myself—convincing myself to stop proofreading and editing and just let the book go!

What were your happiest moments in the process?

I had several very happy moments; when I got the first mail from Ameesha, my editor, and I realised I had the perfect editor who totally ‘got’ me and what I was trying to do. When I found my book designer, Tope, who would work all night, stay calm, and hash out whatever I wanted done. Holding the book launch event. Finally, when people who had bought and read the book gave it awesome reviews and ordered even more copies, I got my full validation and satisfaction!

What is your day job, and how did you balance writing with your job? 

I’m a strategy consultant and I simply put in a lot of extra hours to ensure I could write the book without affecting my commitment to my clients. It took me four months to write the book that way.

If you could do anything differently in the process, what would it be?

There is one major thing that Ameesha taught me: shorter paragraphs and sentences! From the start, I would structure my writing better to make the editing easier.

If you had one piece of advice for aspiring authors, what would it be?

This sounds cliché but clichés become that exactly because they are true, so my advice is stay the course and find a great editor (like Ameesha).

Will you be writing more books?


And just for fun, who is your author alter ego?

I would probably say Malcolm Gladwell; the man is a genius and I love challenging the status quo!

If you could have dinner with three authors, who would they be?

Malcolm Gladwell, Robert Greene, and John Grisham.

Thanks for chatting to us Laide. We’ve loved working with you, and we wish you all the success with your book and future books!

You can get your copy of People As Assets: Building High Performance Organizations here.