Andy Sernovitz has some excellent tips for startup companies. Here are the first two in order of importance:
1. Customer service first. Take care of the people who give you money. Everything else grows from here.
2. Ethics matter. There is no undo for dishonest behavior. It will haunt you later.
Now think of the criticisms that so many people have of big companies. Surprisingly these first two often feature. Perhaps all companies prosper better if they put these two rules first. If they are so essential to startups, it is difficult to think of a reason why they should not be equally important for big companies.