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improve it! Podcast – Developing Teams and Leaders Through Play, Improv & Experiential Learning

Apr 14, 2021

“We have to embrace all of who we are, the mistakes, the good part, the bad part. I mean, it is who we are. I think there's some valuable lesson. There is some source of inspiration that can help another person.” - Dionna Griffin

Failed it! Fam, we have an amazing guest who is such a light in the improv world. Get ready to hear the crazy journey that Dionna Griffin went through as she strived to overcome failure by embracing her true self.

In today’s episode, Dionna talks to us about:

  • How fearing a huge pivot in her life was exactly what she needed
  • How a stint in jail changed her life
  • The importance of sharing failures


Links from show discussions:


About the Guest: Dionna Griffin-Irons is a writer, comedy producer, and the longtime former Director of Talent Diversity and Inclusion for The Second City U.S. and Canada.  She’s delighted to share her story on the "You Failed It" podcast. For two decades, she's used her inclusion and belonging strategy "finding your truth voice" in boardrooms, prisons, shelters, classroom spaces, and stages, to create personal transformation around leadership, empathy, and resilience. As an instructor and consultant, Griffin-Irons has facilitated 200+ workshops to corporations, organizations, and students around the globe including Embassy Norway and Latvia, using improvisation as a creative tool for social change. Her work has been featured on ABC, NBC, American Theatre Magazine, Diversity Journal, and with University of Chicago's TEDx, The Incredible Unknown.   Griffin-Irons teaches at DePaul University in the Computer Digital Media program, core faculty with Story Studio Chicago, Chicago Dramatists, and The Second City Film School nurturing the next wave of storytellers. Her signature class "Telling Your Truth" has helped students and professionals who fear the writing process, go from one page to 15 pages in a month. #slaytheegoandwrite


About the Host: Erin Diehl is the founder and Chief “Yes, And” officer of improve it! and host of the failed it! Podcast. She’s a performer, facilitator and professional risk-taker who lives by the mantra, “get comfortable with the uncomfortable.” Through a series of unrelated dares, Erin has created improve it!, a unique professional development company that pushes others to laugh, learn and grow. Her work with clients such as United Airlines, PepsiCo, Groupon, Deloitte, Motorola, Walgreens, and The Obama Foundation earned her the 2014 Chicago RedEye Big Idea Award and has nominated her for the 2015-2019 Chicago Innovations Award.

This graduate from Clemson University is a former experiential marketing and recruiting professional as well as a veteran improviser from the top improvisational training programs in Chicago, including The Second City, i.O. Theater, and The Annoyance Theatre.

When she is not playing pretend or facilitating, she enjoys running and beach dates with her husband and son, and their eight pound toy poodle, BIGG Diehl.

You can follow the failed it! podcast on Instagram @learntoimproveit and facebook, and you can follow Erin personally on Instagram @keepinitrealdiehl here. You can also check out improve it! and how we can help your organization at We can’t wait to connect with you online!