The Bombers' season ended on Saturday night when they gave up a 33-point lead early in the third term and lost to the Kangaroos by 12 points.
In his weekly note to club members, Essendon's head of coaching development and strategy Neil Craig said the Bombers failed to adapt once North started their comeback.
"We need to improve our ability to handle top finals pressure and be able to adapt our game style for the situation," Craig said.
"We needed to adapt from the use of handball to being able to move the ball forward quickly by foot.
"This was particularly the case in the midfield where the pressure was intense."
It was the latest and most painful in a series of mid-game fadeouts by Essendon.
They were as flaky as they were brilliant this season and Craig said it was critical they learned from Saturday night's second-half disaster.
"Our biggest weakness for the season, our inconsistency, exposed us again," he said.
"Clearly our best footy is at a really high standard, but it drops away to a level that is sub-par to win finals footy - so we pay the price for that.
"We need to make sure we don't push the result under the carpet.
"It was a great effort to get there, but ... we had an expectation internally to win that game."
One bright note from the loss was the outstanding performance of 20-year-old key forward Joe Daniher, who stood up in the absence of Jake Carlisle and kicked four goals.
Craig made a point of singling Daniher out in his summary of the match.
"He provided our supporters a glimpse of what we can expect from him in the future," Craig said.
"He has a really good head on his shoulders, he is competitive and has great self-belief in the way he goes about his football.
"In another two to three years Joe Daniher is going to get a lot of people out of their seats."
Craig, like interim coach Mark Thompson, also congratulated the players on making the finals despite the ongoing stress of the club's supplements scandal.
"The resilience that our playing group showed throughout the year is something that will hold (them) in great stead," he said.